27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 12


SIR,-1 welcome the opening of your columns to a discussion of the difficult problem of broadcasting to a country under Communist dictatorship; and having worked for a number of years as BBC broadcaster to a neighbouring Balkan country (Albania) I have been following with keen interest the correspondence in your review regarding the BBC broadcasts to Yugo- slavia. Whether the reasoned and sincere pleadings of 'Z. Marn,' and the supporting arguments of his fellow- Yugoslav Vane Ivanovic, will have any effect on the contents of future BBC broadcasts to Yugoslavia, time will show. And whether the earlier discussion in the Spectator of the BBC Russian broadcasts was followed by any change for the better is a question I do not propose to discuss. But one thing is certain : that those in authority at Bush House are thus made aware that their routine decisions are followed with

critical interest by at least some observers outside th Establishment.

The invariable tendency of any 'establishment' to wards safety-first policies was most convincingl' exposed in Hesketh Pearson's 'Establishments I Havi Known' in your issue of November 20, and the BB( is no exception The result of vigorous public discus sion might be to make those in charge of its foreigt broadcasts, and those who decide on the genera policy to which they must conform, consider afresl what is their long-term purpose. It might also remint some of those in the West who in this World Refuge( Year still need reminding, both of the hundreds o thousands of East European refugees from Corn munist tyranny and of the millions of their fellow countrymen who are forced to live under it.

Finally, your editorials on the subject of BBC broadcasts to the Soviet Union and its satellites muse warm the heart of the broadcaster from behind du Iron Curtain who values the finer aspects of Westcrr civilisation and retains some concern for the effect on his fellow-countrymen of what he and others broad. cast. Where this concern has had to yield to the need to keep his job, it usually results in a disillusionment and cynical indifference that are bound to be sensed by his listeners.—Yours faithfully,


Hon. Sec., Balkan Affairs Association 28 Rochester Way, Croxley 'Green, Rickmansworth. Hens *