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Britain Plans Arabic Broadcasts to Counteract Propaganda

VIGOROUS MEASURES TO COUNTERACT FOREIGN ANTI-BRITISH PROPAGANDA IN PALESTINE AND THE NEAR EAST WILL BE TAKEN BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, IT WAS LEARNED HERE TODAY.

ONE STEP TO BE TAKEN WILL BE BROADCASTS IN ARABIC FROM THE BRITISH BROADCASTING COMPANY’S POWERFUL TRANSMITTER AT DAVENTRY. PLANS FOR THIS SPECIAL SERVICE ARE NOW BEING WORKED AT AND WILL BE PUT INTO EFFECT AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT.

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HOPES BY THESE MEANS TO COUNTERACT THE EFFECT OF THE ITALIAN BROADCASTS TO PALESTINE IN THE ARABIC LANGUAGE, THE TONE OF WHICH HAS BEEN HOSTILE TO BRITISH INTERESTS AND ENCOURAGING TO ARAB EXTREMISTS.

THIS STEP IS BEING TAKEN AFTER REPEATED DIPLOMATIC DEMARCHES TO MUSSOLINI HAVE FAILED TO RESULT IN ANY PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT IN THE SITUATION. FOREIGN MINISTER ANTHONY EDEN HAS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS PROTESTED TO ITALY AGAINST THE BARI BROADCASTS, AND HE SECURED FROM MUSSOLINI AT THE TIME OF THE PUBLICATION OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT AN ASSURANCE THAT ITALY WOULD DO NOTHING TO CREATE DIFFICULTIES FOR THE BRITISH ADMINISTRATION.

FOREIGN PROPAGANDA BROADCASTING HAS BEEN THE CAUSE OF SEVERAL COMPLAINTS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AND MEMBERS HAVE CRITICIZED THE GOVERNMENT SEVERELY FOR FAILING TO TAKE MEASURES TO CHECK OR COUNTERACT IT. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN CONSIDERABLE COMPLAINT THAT THE GOVERNMENT, ALTHOUGH AWARE OF THE PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY ITALIAN AND GERMAN AGENTS IN PALESTINE, HAS NOT TAKEN MEASURES AGAINST IT. IN PARLIAMENTARY AND CERTAIN GOVERNMENT CIRCLES THERE IS ALSO CRITICISM OF THE CABINET FOR ITS POLICY OF DECLINING TO REVEAL ANY OF THE INFORMATION IT IS KNOWN TO POSSESS REGARDING SUPPORT OF THE ARAB NATIONALISTS IN PALESTINE AND FOR ITS POLICY OF PERMITTING THESE ACTIVITIES TO CONTINUE.

IT IS NOW REPORTED HERE IN WELL-INFORMED CIRCLES THAT SIR CHARLES TEGART, THE NEW ADVISER TO THE PALESTINE GOVERNMENT ON POLICE MATTERS, WILL HAVE AS ONE OF HIS TASKS THE RECONSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S INTELLIGENCE SERVICE IN PALESTINE NOT ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRACKING DOWN THE TERRORIST BANDS, BUT ALSO TO LOCATE AND IDENTIFY THE FOREIGN AGENTS SUPPORTING AND ENCOURAGING THEM AND THUS MAKE POSSIBLE THE NULLIFICATION OF THEIR ACTIVITIES.

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