Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator MILLEN (Tasmania) . - I listened with attention to the speech delivered by Senator Abbott, and the inescapable logic is that a common language would be used most by those masters of propaganda, the Communists and Bolshevists, for the furtherance of their ends. What would be the position in India to-day if its- millions of people spoke a common language? Do not honorable senators realize that the resources of the Empire would be taxed to their uttermost -to hold India?' What is happening in the various countries, and particularly in France? The results of the elections ' in France in 1934 and this year showed greatly increased support for Communist candidates, 72 being elected with a total of 1,500,000 votes. If I thought that the adoption of a common language would strengthen the British Empire, I would strongly support the motion. I am afraid it will not have that effect. One has only to listen to the broadcast addresses in English from Moscow every Sunday night at 9 o'clock, and from Berlin at 10 o'clock to realize the extent to which broadcast ing is used for propaganda work. Fascism and communism are largely responsible for the disturbed state of the world to-day, and they make the most use of this scientific instrument to extend their activities.

Senator Abbott - Can we not talk to them in a democratic way?

Senator MILLEN - -No. it is wellknown that certain people are using our liberty in a most insidious way. The Fascists and the Communists, who are masters of propaganda, are at present doing many things inimical to the power of the British Empire, and to the peace of the world. The Russians, the French, and the Germeans are sending their insidious poison over the air daily. Wireless broadcasting can be employed to educate and entertain the people; but it can also be used to the detriment of world peace. Representatives of the Russian people are broadcasting propaganda throughout India, not for the purpose of assisting, but in order to destroy the British power there. One only needs to listen to some of the statements made at times in the Melbourne Town Hall or in the Melbourne Stadium to realize what is actually being attempted even in this fair land. Everything possible should be done to ensure the peace of the world, but I firmly believe that the adoption of a common language might be inimical to the interests of the British Empire, and might easily be the means of disrupting it. The peoples of India do not speak a common language.

Senator Abbott - Do they not all speak Hindustani?

Senator MILLEN - Numerous languages are spoken in India. The adoption Qf a common language without very definite safeguards would present many dangers and might, as I have said, eventually be the means of disrupting the British Empire.

Suggest corrections