That Dragon Goebbels
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 20 Apr 1944, p. 442-458


Description
Creator:
de Lotbiniere, S.J., Speaker
Media Type:
Text
Item Type:
Speeches
Description:
Reference to St. George's Day next Sunday. The fight against Goebbels and his propaganda machine. Goebbels as the "dragon-in-the-bed" analogy. The B.B.C. countering Goebbels. A look back at the summer of 1939 and the activities at Broadcasting House, and avoiding the bombs. The effect of security regulations on the broadcasting operations. No interruption to shortwave services to any part of the world. Anxiety about what the microphones might give away as to the whereabouts of falling bombs. Limiting weather news, and why. The need for expansion of services during wartime, and how that was handled. Goebbels' attempts to jam services. The Gestapo discouraging listening. The part the B.B.C. played in overseas services and world communications through shortwave, with some examples. The B.B.C.'s service to Canada, and some technical problems. Use to which the British radio machine has been put. Finding and sticking to the truth. The difficulties of semantics. Some illustrative examples of this policy of truth-telling, and a restrained approach to reporting. Fighting the dragon together.
Date of Original:
20 Apr 1944
Subject(s):
Language of Item:
English
Copyright Statement:
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Contact
Empire Club of Canada
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
THAT DRAGON GOEBBELS
AN ADDRESS BY S. J. DE LOTBINIERE, ESQ.
Chairman: The President, Mr. Eason Humphreys.
Thursday, April 20, 1944

MR. HUMPHREYS: Today's session of The Empire Club constitutes a salute to Britain, for we pay homage to St. George, the Patron Saint of England.

Sunday next is St. George's Day, as well as the birthday of that great Englishman, William Shapespeare. Although St. George's Day is England's day, Scotsmen, Welshmen and Irishmen will be thought of in our prayers of thankfulness, for they, with Englishmen, are Britain-Britain whose gift to the world is liberty.

St. George's Day is not, I think, a day of festival, rather it is a day of prayer and dedication for the battle of freedom.

Great spiritual courage is required when you are alone. Britain stood alone, fortified by that spiritual courage. I repeat, gentlemen, it was Britain's courage and sacrifice that gave us our freedom.

To many, St. George is a legendery figure destroying a dragon. He was, however, born of a noble Christian family at Lydda, in Palestine, A.D. 270. When St. George was still a small boy, his father is said to have been martyred. At 17, St. George entered the Roman Army and served as a tribune under Diocletian, whose edict ordering the persecution of the Christians, St. George is said to have torn down. Arrested, tortured, he held firmly to his faith, and so died at the age of 33.

In the fourth century, a church was dedicated to him at Rome, and soon the people of England became familiar with his name.

The flag of the Crusaders (a red cross on a white field) was also the flag of St. George, and when the Crusaders entered Antioch in 1189, at one stage of the battle, they wavered. Then, it is said, St. George appeared and rallied them to victory.

In a moment or so, I shall give you the toast to St: George and Britain. Afterwards, our guest of honour, Mr. S. J. de Lotbiniere, will reply by addressing us on the subject: "That Dragon, Goebbels".

Although born in Britain, Mr. de Lotbiniere is the descendant of a distinguished Canadian family. In one sense, he has come home, for his grandfather, Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere, was Prime Minister of Quebec (which is somewhat unusual for a Protestant), and, for a short time, he was a member of Laurier's Cabinet. His father trained at the Royal Military College, Kingston, and became a commissioned officer of the Imperial Army.

Mr. de Lotbiniere was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and for a time practised as a member of the Chancery Bar. He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1932, and has held several responsible positions there. For example, he was responsible for the great Coronation Broadcast. More recently, he has been associated in London with the organization of United States, Canadian, and other broadcasting networks. A few months ago, he came to Canada for the first time, to forge the final link in a broadcasting chain, namely that between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the British Broadcasting Corporation, and he is now in charge of the B.B.C. Office in Canada.

Mr. de Lotbiniere's duties are of special interest to us, for he directs the attention of the B.B.C. to material representative of Canadian life broadcast or otherwise publicized, an important and useful function, especially in the interests of Canada. Now, gentlemen, and perhaps you who are listening, too, will you drink a solemn toast with me: "St. George and England."

Gentlemen: Mr. S. J. de Lotbiniere, his subject: "That Dragon Goebbels",

MR. DE LOTBINIERE: Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the Empire Club and Guests from St. George's Society: I wonder if any amongst you can realize with what feelings I find myself replying here in the City of Toronto to the toast of "St. George," Patron Saint of England. Those feelings are, I think, a mixture. There's naturally awe at the task that I am set; there's pride, too, in the honour that The Empire Club has done me and there's real emotion in the fact that I-a French-Canadian by recent descent-should be asked to speak on such an occasion and in such a place.

Though my family has played some part in Canadian history, it is no credit to any action of mine that I bear the name I do. But I think it is something that your committee should have invited someone with my name to speak here today. Why, scarcely 150 years ago my ancestors were doing their level best to keep your ancestors out of Canada; and if their discrimination had been matched by their success--it would, I believe, have been a bad day for Canada. For surely there's room enough in this great country of yours for St. George as well as St. Denys--for the fleur de lys as well as the rose.

Next Sunday is St. George's Day. From one end of England to the other the red cross of St. George will be flying from church tower in town and village. Some of you will have your own memories of England on St. George's Day-a last war memory perhaps of some Wiltshire village, half hidden in a fold of Salisbury Plain, or of some old North Country church, built of that close grained granite which seems to defy the hand of time.

My thoughts--and this will be the first St. George's Day that I will have spent out of England--my thoughts will go to a church tower of flint and stone in my home village of Brandon in East Anglia-to a tower built by English craftsmen who have been laid to rest these six hundred years and more. They lie, I daresay, under some of the grass mounds in the church yard, amongst the drifts of yellow daffodils. Two crusaders lie there, too-under stones so weather-worn that it's only by local tradition that we claim they fought under King Richard in the Holy Land. Above them all--crusader or craftsman-will float the standard of St. George, red and white against the blue of an April sky. That's a noble sight, but the last four years have taught us that there's none nobler than when that same flag shines clear against a dark background of thunder clouds.

As like as not next Sunday there'll be on that church tower a figure or two in khaki. They won't be there to do honour to St. George-not directly at any rate. For they're there most Sundays. They're members of the Home Guard engaged on a Sunday exercise. For all I know their great great grandfathers watched from that same tower when Napoleon threatened invasion, and more than two hundred years before that a beacon on the church tower stood ready to signal the approach of the Spanish Armada. But for over 800 years England's citizens have watched for the invader and watched in vain. And even now the thoughts of Britain's Home Guard turn to attack rather than defence.

Only the other day a friend of mine told me of a Home Guard exercise that he was on--this time at night and in a Sussex village. It was two o'clock in the morning and he and a local farmer found time to discuss the progress of the war. The farmer reckoned that it wouldn't be long before they'd be wanting some of the Home Guard to go overseas. My friend asked how many of their company would be fit enough for overseas service. The farmer, who was wearing medals of the last war, thought that 60 or 70 of them might be able to make it. But he added that he'd seen some of "they young Canadian soldiers" training to be assault troops. They looked fit and strong and it was unlikely that the Home Guard could keep pace with them. So, said he, "I reckon they should properly send us over first." That was said sincerely and simply-and there spoke St. George.

Gentlemen, I make no apology for having spoken so far on a sentimental note. I did it for a purpose. Flags and anniversaries and emblems have their value--but only if they stand for something more than sentiment. The standard of St. George is so much red and white bunting--and so much red and white bunting wasted -unless it stands for action and for action taken with courage and a high heart.

All of you in Canada have, I feel, been more than generous in your estimate of what Britain went through in the dark winter of 1940-so generous in fact that I hesitate to say anything more about those blitz days. But then in truth London and Coventry, Hull and Tyneside, had a right to wear the emblem of St. George. There was action, and there surely was courage and a high heart.

I remember in Bristol one night--during a pretty sharp raid, I was fire watching in an empty B.B.C. building. It had no shelter and it was supposed to have a ghost. I was on my own-so for company's sake I joined a group of people in a street shelter outside. There was a boy there, a lad I suppose of about 13 or 14. He had on a little tin helmet and he was obviously the mascot of the local firefighting unit. Quite a lot was coming down, and there was a good deal of noise-when through it all we heard a new sound-the shrill roar of an aircraft in a dive. They boy heard it too. He shouted, "Cor, they're dive bombing" and he shot out of that shelter and into the open street--just to see what dive bombing might look like in the light of Bristol's fires. I didn't follow him. We heard the bomber come out of its dive, drop something and zoom up again. The boy came back. "Never saw nothing," he said. "Never mind, sonny," said a voice out of the darkness, "Bristol's playing Portsmouth next Saturday--and in Bristol that's just about the equivalent of a Torontonian saying "Leafs are playing Canadians."

That's not a very singular story perhaps--but it wasn't a very singular incident. For during those dark days St. George was abroad in the cities of Britain; and Cockney or West Countryman, Yorkshireman or Man of Kent, there were plenty who responded to his call for courage, and a cheerful heart.

That call persists and with it always is the call for action. St. George believed in action. He up and slew a dragon and thereby set an example for all time to those who acknowledge him as saint and martyr.

But the action can't always be spectacular. There are humble jobs to be done. There must be someone to help St. George into his armour and there must be someone to record his exploits as he faces and defeats the foe. I make no excuse for taking up your time today with some account of these unspectacular contributions to the war-the fight against Goebbels and his propaganda machine. I make no excuse, because it is something of which I can speak from my own experience, and because I believe it is a job that had to be done, and still has to be done.

I expect many of you must know the old story of the man who'd dined well--and who woke in the middle of the night to find a small dragon beside his bed. In the interests of strict accuracy it was a small alligator he saw there--but either way it seemed so unusual that the man thought he'd better try some more sleep. But sleep was no good. For next morning the dragon was still there. It followed him along to the bathroom. It followed him down to breakfast. When he was getting ready to go to the office, it showed signs of wanting to come too, So, to make the best of a bad job, he put it on a lead and set off for the office. His way lay along an avenue of trees. The dragon was inclined to pause here and there. Finally its master got exasperated, "If you stop one more," he said, "I'll take an aspirin and then you won't be there at all."

Now that was evidently a dragon of no substance. And some people were inclined to think the same of Goebbels and his gang--but only at first. Within a few weeks of the outbreak of war Lord Haw Haw was one of the most popular radio stars in Britain. Very soon he and others were being widely listened to overseas and it was clear that the B.B.C. had a big job on hand. Now I don't want to suggest that the B.B.C. was the only organization that was out to defeat Goebbels and his Italian and Japanese counterparts. There were other broadcasting organizations--there was the press--there were films. But the B.B.C. was at least well situated to join in the fight. We were well situated-but we had certain problems. Let me take you in imagination back to the summer of 1939. War wasn't a certainty then, but assuming it was, what preparations had we got to make to meet what was to us a wholly new and unknown set of circumstances. We'd got two main problems to settle-first how best to keep the radio machine going and then how to put that machine to wartime use. I suppose, in that summer of 1939, the thing that puzzled us most about keeping the machine going was the scale of possible enemy attack. We'd got our programme centres in eight or nine of the principal cities of Britain-with a heavy concentration of studios and staff in London. Here the concentration was largely in one building-Broadcasting House. That's an eight storey building above ground with three floors below--and were were to find that in the long run those below ground floors were to stand us in good stead. All the offices at Broadcasting House are built round a sort of central tower in which are--or were--the studios, and our control room was on the top floor under a glass roof. We knew that we couldn't make Broadcasting House bomb proof. And we were proved right about eighteen months later when a 500 pound bomb came in at an angle through the outer shell of offices and into the studio tower where it burst. Six of the staff were killed, and three floors of studios vanished in dust and broken glass. Down below in the basement, news bulletins were on the air both in the Home and Overseas services. I was out of London listening to the Home news. I heard the thud of the explosion and then a girl's voice saying, "Go on, it's all right." I thought to myself--"A lot of fool listeners will think that's a bomb hitting Broadcasting House." I was the fool listener that time--while the announcer read on to the distant rumble of walls crumbling only two or three floors above his head.

Well, that's one thing that eventually happened-but in that summer of 1939 we were only guessing. We knew that the London hospitals were preparing for 200,000 casualties a week and we decided to reduce their labours, if we could, by planning a large scale dispersal of staff. That dispersal took place in due course. But even then we had to decide what line to take in the event of a raid on one of our dispersal areas. We didn't feel justified in spending the labour and materials in making all our studios bomb proof, and so we were left with the possible alternative of finding ourselves having to abandon a programme already on the air or of risking the lives of maybe twenty or thirty artists.

Our practise evolved with experience. In 1941 I found myself at Bristol--at a time when we had our big symphony orchestra there, as well as three smaller orchestras. Many's the night I and others spent roof spotting--with the German planes droning overhead on their way maybe to Coventry or Birmingham, or Clydeside. I'd have a programme schedule with me, so as to know at any given moment what programmes might be originating in Bristol. There were usually several of these and we'd be faced with a problem. On the one hand the German planes seem to be on their way elsewhere. On the other hand, down below was a studio full, maybe, of eighty or ninety of the best musicians in Britain. Should they be sent to the shelters or should the broadcast go on?

It was a gamble and a good deal more exciting than shooting crap. Though it was a gamble, I know that some of those musicians--many of them veterans of the last war-rejoiced to think that in this war they'd still got a job to do that kept them within sound of enemy action. Another unknown quantity that we were facing in the months before the war was the effect of security regulations on our operations. They were bound to prove embarrassing--but how embarrassing?

You've heard the news from time to time of enemy stations going off the air-with the implication that an allied raid was in progress.

Well our medium stations sometimes went off the air too--but our short-wave stations never did. In fact I believe it is true to say that so far the enemy have never interrupted our short-wave services to any part of the world. The enemy may have cause some programme changes--but never more than that.

Then there was anxiety about what our microphones might give away as to the whereabouts of falling bombs or as to where and at what exact times sirens might be sounding "alerts" or "all clears." In fact at one time we were asked by a service ministry if we couldn't record all our programmes a day in advance-news included! That scheme, fortunately, came to nothing. All the same whereabouts of raiding was an important security secret and I've little doubt a wise one.

It is possible to mistake a target and it's not good to tell the enemy when he makes such a mistake. But it led to some strange situations. After one particularly heavy Bristol raid--when the fires were still burning and the rescue squads still at work-we had to broadcast to Bristol's citizens, news of a raid on what we had to call "A West Country Town". The only extra identification that we could give to listeners was that the Germans claimed that it was Bristol.

Then there was the weather. The Englishman is said to talk little and when he does talk, to talk only of the weather. Well, he's had to be rationed in this war on weather news. Targets are too close to German bomber stations to let them know when the sky over London is clear or cloudy. We tell them now about the Straits of Dover and that's all. But this ruling made it difficult for commentators on outside events. No longer could they see gold braid gleaming in the sunshine, or Union jacks flapping in the wind. You couldn't even say whether the Newmarket "going" would suit the favourite or not.

There was one occasion when we'd got a commentary on a football match in North London--at the "Spurs" ground at Tottenham. About an hour before the match the Air Ministry rang up to say they were expecting London to be hit by a sudden blizzard--of an intensity that might stop even a League football match. If so, they said, our commentator must on no account attribute the abandonment of the match to weather conditions.

I got through to the ground and told the commentator what to expect and what not to say. Then I waited to see how he'd get out of this difficulty. Unfortunately, the blizzard never materialized.

So much, gentlemen, for the problems of enemy attack and of the Service Department's Security regulations. What about expansion? What wartime developments if the war ever came-what wartime developments must we prepare for?

In that summer of 1939 we had a Home service, a European service and a World service. Our European service then consisted of an hour a day in three languages. Now it broadcasts for a total of 42 hours a day in 25 languages. Our prewar World service broadcast only in English and Arabic. Now it broadcasts in some 23 languages or dialects. Only the other day--just before I left London--I was passing one of our studios when I heard a language new to me coming from the control cubicle loudspeaker. I went in to ask the operator what it was. "Hokkien," she said, "that's one of the three Chinese dialects we're now using."

You can imagine what sore of thing that development has meant in the way of staff. Our offices now are a miniature League of Nations. You can sit in committees where the Commonwealth is as fully represented as at an Imperial Conference. You can go into the canteen and gossip in any language you happen to know with someone from almost any one of Europe's capitals-for Europe is one of our especial targets.

So little does Goebbels appreciate these European activities of ours, that he employs a multitude of men and equipment in jamming the various services. But he's got his work cut out. Thirty transmitters serve Europe alone and that gives the enemy plenty to do, when they're all being used together. Not content with that we put out a morse service for the editors of Europe's underground press-and morse is almost impossible to jam.

But besides jamming, Goebbels has the help of the Gestapo to discourage listening. He can discourage it but we have plenty of evidence that he can't stop it. When the B.B.C. started the "V" campaign--the dot-dot-dot-dash, it swept Europe in spite of Goebbels. It only took a few days for the slogan to catch on in 50 different countries and to be translated into signs and sounds and words and even music. We still use it on our European service as a discreet introduction to news bulletins. Da-dada-da. It sound like a mysterious knocking on a closed door, so that the Gestapo have to be almost in the room to know that the set is tuned to London.

One last thing about the radio machine itself, the machine that the B.B.C. has been developing and building up during the past four and a half years. We had to have world-wide coverage. Somehow we had to reach all parts of the world some of the time; we couldn't hope to cover all parts of the world all the time.

Some of the things that I came across during the time I was working with our overseas service made me realize what a part we could play in world communications with our powerful shortwave transmitters--those strange networks of wires and masts which rise from amongst moorland and ploughland in some of the loneliest and loveliest parts of England.

During the Libyan campaign the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation had a war reporting unit in North Af rica. Their reports and front line recordings were radiod to us from Cairo and we'd put them back to South Africa, over the war reporters heads. That was the only way they could reach South African listeners, via London. We did the same for the Australian reporters and for the New Zealanders. We're doing the same now for your C.B.C. unit in the Mediterranean.

I remember, too, that during the Hong Kong siege, we put out messages to the garrison, messages that had been cabled to us from Vancouver on the Pacific coast.

At another time Singapore cabled to ask us to include all possible Chungking news in the bulletins that we were beaming to them from London. If you look at a world map, that seems a surprising request-Singapore listening to London for news from Chungking. And in the last days of Singapore we were sending them Reuter's messages at dictation speed-to use in their local newspapers.

And here's another random memory. Towards the end of that same year a naval petty officer, who'd been stationed in the Falkland Islands for the previous four years, came to see me to discuss some special programme for the Islanders. I happened to ask him what the time difference was--between London and the Falkland Isles. He thought for a moment and then he said, "It must be four hours difference. I remember it was eight o'clock Island time last year when we all brought our radios up on deck o listen to Big Ben bring in the New Year." That made us realize afresh what a strange and powerful instrument we had at our disposal for better or for worse -an instrument that could link so effectively the lonely Falkland Islands with blacked-out London.

Mind you the links are nothing like complete. Canada's shortwave station is still in the making, and Britain must be able to listen to Canada, as well as Canada to Britain. Broadcasting between different parts of the Empire must be two-way--if we are to learn enough of each other to be able to overcome our mutual prejudices and suspicions which are largely born of ignorance that Goebbels and others like him seek to foster and foment.

Incidentally, the B.B.C.'s service to Canada is not as reliable as it should be. There's many a night when listening to London is difficult or impossible. That's partly due to the fact that London's radio beam passes too close to the disturbing influence of the magnetic North. But we're hoping to overcome that. Even now engineers are on their way from London to Leopoldville in the Belgian Congo. When these engineers get there we shall be able to use the transmitters there as a relay station for a few hours each evening. London's signal will go 4,000 miles south to the Belgian Congo and then 6,000 miles North West again to Canada-and that will take about 1/18th of a second. Tests have shown that this will cheat the magnetic North of some of its evil influence, and so make the evening transmission from London easier for Canadian listeners.

That, gentlemen, is enough and more than enough about the radio machine itself. What about the use we've made of it? I'll tell you. I believe that our guiding principle from the first day of the war until today has been to stick to the truth. We believed that in the long run people would want the real story and not what ought to be called the "Goebbled version".

Mind you it isn't always easy to get at the truth. The same words will mean one thing to one person and one to another. Suppose Mar. X visits London and comes away saying "I'd no idea that the bomb damage was so extensive." What measure is that of the actual damage? Or if Mr. Y. reports that there's a lot of absenteeism in a certain shipyards--what's a "lot"--is it 5% or 25%?

Then again, even if you can make words mean the same to every listener; mechanized warfare moves so swiftly that genuine optimism at Headquarters can easily be hours behind the actual turn of events. War reporters found that all right in the desert fighting in North Africa.

Sometimes too, for security reasons it pays to withhold details of a particular engagement. Do you remember the Ark Royal at the beginning of the war? Haw Haw went on the air day after day saying "We've sunk your Ark Royal. If we haven't, where is she?" The Admiralty decided not to tell them until she was safely back in port-and naturally the B.B.C. followed suit.

Of course the wise guys were at us all the time. "The truth's all very well," they'd say, "but at least jazz it up. Make people listen to the news. Get Gracie Fields to read your bulletins and let her sing the good parts if she feels like it."

Well we stuck to our guns. The world smiled a bit and some of our best friends ground their teeth and said "You'll never do it that way." I believe they were wrong. We knew that it was to be a long war and if, in the long run, we wanted people to listen to London, we'd got to do all we could to give them the truth, straight and unvarnished.

Haw Haw, by contrast, hit the highlights all right--for a time. But today how many people in this room know if he's still broadcasting? I'm almost ashamed to say that I, for one, don't know. And I believe that's because Haw Haw and his like have preferred the "Goebbled version" to the truth.

I was told once that in a certain newspaper in Lisbon a full page advertisement appeared one Sunday and announced in bold capitals "Berlin Broadcasts and Europe Listens." On the following Sunday that same page proclaimed "London Broadcasts and Europe Believes."

And that's been our objective--to seel and to tell the truth--and I think it has paid handsome dividends. As for the jazzing up of our news broadcasts, again I believe we did the right thing. I've had the good fortune to go right across Canada in the few months that I've been here, and I've been impressed by the number of people who've said this sort of thing to me about the B.B.C.'s news bulletins. "I like the calm voices of your announces. When things were going badly they seemed to give us confidence." I believe those voices gave confidence on the Home Front, too. And there was a time when confidence alone saved the day for us when we hasn't in fact the men or the arms to resist the enemy--but we believed in our cause and in that belief and with God's help we won through.

Only the other day I noticed a fresh sample of our restrained approach to news reporting. One evening during Mr. Churchill's recent illness I met in Toronto one or two people who seemed to think that things were very serious. They'd heard rumours of Mrs. Churchill flying to his bedside and so on. So I tuned into London and waited for our next news bulletin. We led with a Japanese story, went on to the Cassino fighting and only third did we report on Mr. Churchill's health. That made me feel he'd pull through and he did. That restraint wasn't lack of emotion-whatever it may have seemed like here and in the United States.

There's a well known United States radio writer called Norman Corwin. He came to Britain two years ago to do a series of programmes back to the United States. They were called "An American Looks at Britain." In one of them he was poking fun at the Englishmen's alleged lack of emotion and he introduced into the programme our senior announcer reading a B.B.C. news bulletin. From memory the bulletin began something like this: "At three o'clock this afternoon the world came to an end during a session of the House of Commons. The House immediately adjourned. A full report of today's Parliamentary proceedings will be given at the end of this bulletin"--and then the bulletin went on to report that the Foreign Secretary had seen a snipe in St. James' Park--or something of the sort. Corwin was poking fun at us all right--but I'm not at all sure that I didn't feel rather pleased that that was the way we struck him at a time when we were in the very midst of a life and death struggle.

In any event it's no good pretending that the Englishman is something that he is not. It's not by pretense that international broadcasting will help to build understanding between the nations of the world. We've all got to put our cards on the table and then we shall have an understanding of each other's weaknesses as well as of each other's strengths.

You don't like an English accent perhaps-and I'm quite sure you don't like mine-but let's accept the fact that our accents are different and make the best of it.

Even the Englishman's reticence is a negative sort of crime. You know the story of the two Englishmen who were crossing the Atlantic. One of them always wore an Old Etonian tie and neither spoke when they met at meals. On the third day out the other appeared also in an Old Etonian tie. Nothing was said at breakfast but at luncheon one looked across at the other and said "Crossing?" Now I don't know that was really a serious crime. After all, I wonder if St. George was a big talker. What, for instance, do you imagine he had to say after his fight with the dragon? What do you imagine he had to say to the reporters from the Libya Telegram and the North Africa Star? Perhaps St. George was poet enough to be able to describe the Princess and the desolate place in which he found her-but I doubt if he said much about his actual fight with the dragon. I certainly can't find that he did.

Be that as it may, I don't believe any Englishman would wish St. George to have given a full-length account of the actual fight. And if that's the way Englishmen are made--and I say this as a French-Canadian--that's the way they'd better stay, and they can safely leave Goebbels to do most of the talking.

But that's enough of Goebbels. What about the rest of his dragon brood? There's a lot of kick in them yet; though it's not for nothing that Britain's Eighth Army have worn the emblem of St. George from Alamein to Italy. And it's not for nothing that Malta's Cross has for central device St. George overcoming the Dragon.

You here in Canada know as well as anyone that there's still work to be done. Your sons are overseas carrying on their shoulder flashes for all to see, names that spell Canada's geography and Canada's history-the 48th Highlanders, so many of them from here in the city of Toronto; the Royal Edmonton Regiment, the Royal 22nd Regiment from Quebec, the famous "Van Doos"; the Saskatoon Light Infantry, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, the West Nova Scotia Regiment, the Royal Montreal Regiment, Vancouver's Seaforth Highlanders, and many more.

You have indeed sent your sons from these shores to seek out the dragon wherever he lurks-whether it be in the sky, on land, on the sea or under it. You have sent him out because you have realized that the dragon's pestilence threatens not only Britain but also your own country, your own homes, and your own fair cities. You may feel some sentiment too--towards the Old Country--I hope you do. But war is a stark business and it must be waged by realists, and I believe that you Canadians are realists.

You know that you do not fight the dragon for Britain's sake alone--but for your own sakes--for the sake of your sons and your son's sons. Canada and Britain have a righteous cause and a common cause. We stand shoulder to shoulder. So standing, and by God's grace--we shall prevail.

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit




My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.










That Dragon Goebbels


Reference to St. George's Day next Sunday. The fight against Goebbels and his propaganda machine. Goebbels as the "dragon-in-the-bed" analogy. The B.B.C. countering Goebbels. A look back at the summer of 1939 and the activities at Broadcasting House, and avoiding the bombs. The effect of security regulations on the broadcasting operations. No interruption to shortwave services to any part of the world. Anxiety about what the microphones might give away as to the whereabouts of falling bombs. Limiting weather news, and why. The need for expansion of services during wartime, and how that was handled. Goebbels' attempts to jam services. The Gestapo discouraging listening. The part the B.B.C. played in overseas services and world communications through shortwave, with some examples. The B.B.C.'s service to Canada, and some technical problems. Use to which the British radio machine has been put. Finding and sticking to the truth. The difficulties of semantics. Some illustrative examples of this policy of truth-telling, and a restrained approach to reporting. Fighting the dragon together.