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Russian Broadcasts

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 2 June 1943

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40.

asked the Minister of Information whether the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics give radio broadcasts in English; and whether there are arrangements to broadcast in the Russian language from this country?

The Soviet radio gives broadcasts in English which can be received by short-wave listeners in this country and in America. The B.B.C. do not broadcast in the Russian language. The hon. Member will appreciate that listening conditions in the U.S.S.R. differ greatly from those in this country; and so the B.B.C. wisely prefer to use their overworked transmitters for broadcasts to enemy and enemy-occupied countries.

Would it not be a good gesture, in view of the fact that the Russians broadcast in English and that some people in Russia will understand English when it is spoken properly from this country?

If spoken by Englishmen, they might understand it, but were we to do this we should expect the Russian Government to build, I should think, from 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 new wireless sets. They are busy dealing with the Germans, and they will give the Germans priority over the B.B.C.