Edward VIII | The king who gave up the throne for the woman he loved

Special News Announcement

The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.

BBC ARCHIVE
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1936


PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
BBC Internal Circulating Memo

Subject: SPECIAL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT

December, 1936.

From: D.E.S.
To: C.(P.)

I am sorry to press the question of making a statement at the earliest possible moment about the news which is so prominently displayed in this morning's papers. There are obviously, however, some factors of extreme importance, and I feel that we can render really significant service to the Empire by making immediate reference to the situation.

It is already far advanced in the day in countries east of England, and as the Premier's interview with the King took place early last evening there is little doubt that the overseas cables will have been buzzing with the news during the night, with the result that it will have been prominently dealt with in morning or evening papers, (in Australia, the East generally and in Africa). Our strong feeling here is that rumours are both rapidly distorted and widely-spread in the East; that a statement by us would help to put the brake on exaggeration; and that listeners will be looking to us for calm news.

Our next Bulletin is at 1.0 p.m. in Transmission 2, but I would specially urge the great value of our making an announcement either at the start of this transmission, at 11.0 a.m. or soon after. This transmission is heard in the very countries in which there has been most time for the development of rumour since the news first appeared: namely Western Australia, the East (including India), and parts of Africa. There is also a good chance of it being picked up in many other places, including Canada.

A further point is that there are News Bulletins in English from many of the foreign short-wave stations during the morning and early afternoon hours here, Germany, France and Italy especially making a point of quoting, as a rule, extracts from the English newspapers in reporting news of any kind. Immediate arrangements have been made for as many as possible of these bulletins to be transcribed; and I attach hereto a provisional draft of the kind of announcement which you might think should be made at this juncture. I very much hope that it can be agreed.

[signed] J.B. Clark

JBC/UB
BBC/A/20


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Document Type | Internal Memo

03 December 1936

Document version

Writtenin

1936

Synopsis

The Director of the Empire Service writes to the Controller of Programmes stating the need for a special BBC news broadcast to counter the rumours circulating around the Empire about King Edward VIII's affair with Mrs Wallis Simpson.

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