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Wednesday, 10 October 1956

Mr CASEY - I should think that this question, perhaps, should be more properly directed to my friend and colleague, the Postmaster-General, or, even, possibly, to both of us. The Postmaster-General and the Postal Department have what might be called executive charge of the running of Radio Australia, but since the Department of External Affairs is very interested, as indeed I am, too, in Radio Australia, perhaps I might be allowed to answer the question. For just over three months, a programme in Mandarin Chinese has been broadcast over Radio Australia. It is additional to the programmes in English. French, Thai and Indonesian. It is a new service and lasts for an hour a day every day. It is done entirely in Mandarin Chinese, which is, I understand, the principal language of educated overseas Chinese, particularly in South-East Asia. The popularity of the broadcast has been reflected in the fact that a substantial " fan " mail of considerably more than 1,500 letters has been received since this service started. As I said, the broadcast lasts for one hour a day. Of that time, about twelve minutes is devoted to news, about five minutes to comments on news and the remainder to a series of commentaries generally on the Australian way of life and on matters of possible interest between overseas Chinese in SouthEast Asia and ourselves. I think the service has been well justified and I hope that it will not remain static in its present form, but will progress and expand.

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