22 MARCH 1946, Page 4

The news that the Soviet Government has withdrawn its ban

on listening-in to foreign broadcasts and that the B.B.C. is to begin broadcasts in Russian before the end of this month is very satis- factory. Hitherto the Russians have justified their ban on Russian broadcasts from London by an ingenious argument. Each party, they protested, must respect the other's principles. Britain believes in free speech ; therefore Moscow may broadcast in English. Russia believes in " closed speech " ; therefore London must not broadcast in Russian. Now the ban is lifted (if it really is lifted), and it is more than time ; for while the Russian wireless has been broad- casting grossly distorted statements about Britain, there has been no possibility of putting the plain facts before the Russian people. The possibility must not be exaggerated even now. Not many Russians will possess receiving sets that will give them London, and those that have will naturally believe Moscow versions rather than London where the two are in conflict—to begin with at any rate. " Magna est veritas et praevalebit" sounds well, but it may take some time to prevail in Russia. * * * *