§ 76. Captain Alan Graham
asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that in a British Broadcasting Corporation talk to Vienna, on 12th November, not only was the whole of the Nazi Horst Wessel anthem played, but the speaker had a pronounced Prussian accent, and that such a selection of speakers brings comfort to our enemies and despair to our friends; and will he give his personal attention to this department of the British Broadcasting Corporation?
§ Mr. Bracken
My hon. and gallant Friend is misinformed. The broadcast to which he refers was not a talk but a short feature programme depicting the enslavement of the Austrian Republic. A few bars of Horst Wessel song were played after the following description of what the Germans have done to Austria:They have smashed the rights of the workers. They have turned us into defensive slaves and have set up Prussian slave-drivers over us. They are driving the youth of Austria to the battlefields like cattle to the slaughterhouses.A Prussian voice shouted a violent command at the beginning of the song, otherwise none of the actors taking part in the feature spoke with a Prussian accent.
§ Captain Graham
Is the Minister aware that since I put this Question down I have received a positive fan mail from true Austrians in this country, saying that not only on this occasion but on countless other occasions the speaker who does these broadcasts to Vienna often does not seem to speak in a genuine Austrian voice or accent, and that Austrians in Vienna are little likely to risk their heads listening to non-Austrian voices in this country?
§ Mr. Bracken
There are many accents in Austria, as in England. The hon. Member's fans, like every one else's fans, are sometimes wrong.
§ Mr. Sorensen
For broadcasts to Austria would it not be better to have representative Austrians who know the accents and idioms of the Austrian people?