B) Wilfrid Rooke Ley DEAR L1S1ENER,— Radio's silly season is breaking. There have been signs of it since I wrote last, rather like those glints of daylight one gets as one is coming out of a tunnel. There was a Pilgrim's Way on Sunday, which seemed to bring the winter evenings a little nearer. Humbert Wolfe again chose the poems and wrote the prologue—the subject this time was Reverence—and Dennis Arundell and Robert Speaight spoke the verse impeccably as they always do.
I urge you never to miss these programmes. In them radio is doing an original thing, which could be done in no other medium. They are the germ out of which the best, because the most distinctive, radio drama has grown plays, for instance, like Gallipoli.
And there was a short and well-arranged concert relayed from the Malvern festival, ill which the City of Birmingham orchestra, under Leslie Heward, played that symphony of Mozart's in C, No. 34, which is the quintessence of Mozart, with an almost Beechamesque delicacy.
Impertinent Modern Music In fact, with a little hunting the listener whose spirits are not always exhilarated by programmes professedly "light' has been able to find several charming things in odd corners. There was an hour's music by the Sylvan Trio which revived the too-neglected chamber work of Pergolesi and Couperin, to the delight I surely of many listeners. Though why they should have intruded into so period and fragrant a programme a modern work of such impertinence as the Suite by John Locke it is hard to say.
Ninety-five per cent. at least of modern music is impertinent. I used to turn out this sort of stuff by the hour when I was an infant, until I was told not to strum, or (if my strumming was particularly "advanced") sent to bed. It is a pity these nursery noises were not recorded, or I might be regarded to-day as the morning star of the modern movement.
Talking of the nursery—one tries always, I hope, to be patient with children and their fantasies. But when it comes to having radio in motor-cars . . I I gather that some of these grown-up children can hardly be torn away from the stalls at Radiolympia in which these particular toys are displayed. But I gather, also, that nurse, in the person of tin. Minister of Transport, has not yet said
the last word. They may still be prohibited, at least in restricted areas. They
ought to be prohibited in any case. But not even these toys arc quite as superfluous as the radio set in a cigarette case, which also can be seen at Olympia!
Those who are excited by the prospect of television will have been distinctly roused by two announcements made last week by the Postmaster-General and the director of the Baird Television Company respectively. The former gave out officially that test transmissions from the new station at the Alexandra Palace will begin in six months' time; the latter said, "by this time next year we are hoping that television will he in full swing. I do not think it will be long before every wireless set will be equipped with a television screen and vision will be as usual as speech is to-day.
"It will be possible to broadcast outdoor events such as air pageants, and the people who are listening-in will be able to see all the details as well as hear the cornmentary." What will Radiolympia look like, say the year after next?
But what the average man wants to know is in how many months' time will the cost of a set with a teleeision screen he brought down to the level of an average.purse. The manufacturers are not saybig anything. The average man, remembering his experience with listening sets, will be cautious; and this caution may clog the advance of television more than is taken into account.
Radio iii Ne India., The part that radio is destined to play in the new India can hardly escape the meanest imagination. Following upon the news of Mr. Lionel Fielden's departure for Bombay to take up his duties as thirector of Indian broadcasting, and of the progress of the first transmitting station at Delhi, which will be at work in November, comes the news of a vast seherne of the Nizarn of Hyderabad to brieg radio within the reach of his fifteen million subjects.
At the cost of £100,000, he will build three broadcasting stations, and will instal a community receiving-set in thousands of his villages. The "voice from the sky," as he calls radio, will broad
cast in three languages. Politicians. economists, art-theorists, and apostles of the truth generally, sit up and take noticel
Sincerely yours WILFRID ROOKE LEY.