By Wilfrid Rooke Ley
There has cropped up recently an example of the thousand difficulties that beset the path of international broad casting. At the annual dinner of the Periodical Trade Press and Weekly Newspaper Proprietors' Association Lord Iliffe, its president, made the reference to the H.B.C. which, like the dinner itself,
must now be an annual custom. Sir Kingsley Wood was the guest of the evening, having been invited when he was Postmasece-General, and he undertook to pass on the views of the Association to his successor, Major Tryon. After speaking in very reasonable terms of the B.B.C.'s publishing activities, Lord Dille went on to say: " We view with the gravest concern the growth of the relay exchange system of broadcasting —a. system which depends for its working on a licence of. the Postmaster-Generalwhich threatens, in our opinion, by the relaying of sponsored programmes from abroad. to undermine the prohibition on microphone advertising•enforced by the B.13,C, to-day. hi our view, too, it constitutes a general menace by placing in uncontrolled hands the power to upset the balance of broadcasting opinion on controversial matter which is so carefully held by the B.B.C. to-day."
Freedom of Broadcasting . Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the reasonable freedom of international broadcasts. There must soon be an international convention or code having the force of law. The drawing up of such a convention will be no easy matter. Lord lliffe's guarded and rather vague reference to " the balance of broadcasting opinion on controversial matter ' shows one of the problems that will have to be faced. It will be interesting to see how far, if at all, the Internaiional Broadcasting Union, now -sitting at Warsaw Under its English president, gets towards the formulating of a code.
Mr. Alistair Cooke's series, " The American Half-Hour." is now drawing to aeclose. They have been uniformly entertaming. And they have been rather more than that. Occupying. as they have done. thc most popular hour of the most popular evening of the week, they 'must have reached a very large audience, wellese knowledge of the•American continent was either nil or derived from the cinema.
had made freedom the subject of the National Lecture he delivered in May. The outstanding talks were those by Mr. Chesterton and Mr. Shaw; though Mr. Chesterton was hardly at his best.
could not help feeling that, without a key his talk must have bewildered. many. of his admircee, and that it earned for itself a charge of levity and irresponsibility which were clearly—to those who possessed the key—not intended.
Mr. Shaw, on the other hand, was lucidity itself, and not a thought less witty. And the two spears were in entire agreement, Many listeners must
have had the pleasant and rare experience of hearing° a speech by Mr. Shaw to which they had nothing to object. I am told that he refused to submit his talk beforehand to the censor at Broadcasting House, thus challenging a rule that is alwayseenforeed. As the subject matter was liberty, Mr. Shaw no doubt felt that he must first practise what he preached.
WILFRID ROOKE 1 EY.
On Sunday evening, June 30, SIR THOMAS BEECHAM will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Grande Salle du Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, The concert is not being broadcast in Belgium. but the second part of it is to be relayed to English listeners. It includes Arnold Bax's symphonic poem. " The Garden of Fand," and Elgar's " Enigma Variations.
Another of those feature programmes dealing with work is being broadcast on July 10. It is called CABI.E SHIP. It has been devised and will be produced by Laurence Gilliam: whose name will be remembered in connection • with several big .programmes in The past. notably the Jubilee one. " Cable Ship " is en etternpt to describe the Work of a ship engaged
in cable repairs. It will, for instance. depict a panorama of cable routes, including the despatch of a message to London which is interrupted. Listeners will hear how the fault is traced. the 'broken cable-ends grappled for andwill go with the ship to the scene 8'f the interruption, thus gettinf an idea of the delicate navigation needed to locate the exact spot: The c*-ship in question will be the " Mirror," one of the biggest of a fleet owned by a British cable company. The whole operation will be illustrated in detail by actual recordings made in the as Gwendoline: a chronicle play by D. G. Bridson called " Sir Thomas More," on July 6; and on July 9, a dramatic reconstruction of the Monmouth rebellion in 1685, under the title of SEDGEMOOR. The latter has been written and will be produced by Felix Felton.
Two singers deserve to be singled out for praise among the many whose names appear week by week in the programmes. One is KATHLEEN DESTOURNELL, for her charming singing of French songs during a concert by the Bernard Crook Quintet —one of the Most admirable, by the way, of those little orchestras. The other is JAN VAN DER GUCHT, whom we hear far too rarely. He is the true English tenor, and eighteenth-century English songs are sung eby him to perfection. Just such a voice must Handel's tenor., John Beard,
have possessed. Or so one felt as one heard him sing songs by Atlef, John* Blow and Purcell at a concert of the B.B.C. orchestra under Leslie Woodgate last week.
On Sunday, June 30, A SERVICE will be relayed from the church of SS. ANSELM AND CECILIA, Holborn. Father Ronald Knox' is the preacher.
It will be good newsuto many listeners that RAYMOND SWING is to come back to the microphone on July 3 with a new series of transatlantic bulletins broadcast from either New York or Washington. It was never quite understood why his fuest series was so short and came so abruptly to an end. We were learning to rely on him for sound American news clearly elucidated and admirably broadcast. Listeners may remember that this country provides a return programme in which English news is offered to the American public in a similar manner.
Sir Frederick Whyte, S. K. Ratcliffe and Stephen King-Hall have been chosen for the purpose. and their talks will be broadcast by the Columbia Broadcasting System. This is at least a nibble at the great question of news-exohange between nations. We look to see an extension of it between Epropean countries in the near future.
The death of GEORGE GROSSMITH removes from the FI.B.C.'s Advisory Boar g one of its most valued members. He heel been one of the earliest friends of broaereasting, and had lent it his wealth of experience. He joined the Advisory Board in 1925.