HG Wells on the Future | BBC broadcasts from the father of science fiction
BBC ARCHIVE DOCUMENT 1931
Record of Interview at Chiltern Court with Mr. H. G. Wells on the subject of Russian Series.
Date: July 3rd, 1931
I have today lunched with Mr. Wells, taking Mr. Fielden with me. He is proposing to read all the manuscripts together as soon as he has Mr. Frank Owen's which is due on Monday, and to make his talk a review of the series supplemented by other sources of information at his disposal including his own observations during his visit. He is fully alive to the importance of making this a judicial survey given from the standpoint of a scientific historian. He realises also that the British Government has entered into a reciprocal undertaking with the Soviet Government not to engage in propaganda of criticism, and that this has an indirect bearing on broadcasting. His tendency will be towards the critical rather than the uncritical, but I am perfectly convinced that he fully appreciates the position, as he has done on previous occasions, and that he will in no way abuse it.
July 3rd, 1931
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Document Type | Record of interview
03 July 1931
In this summary of her conversation over lunch with HG Wells, Hilda Matheson, the BBC's Director of Talks, reports that the writer agrees to pass judgement on Russia 'from the standpoint of a scientific historian' in his forthcoming radio broadcast. She also notes that Wells is willing to be sensitive to the British government's reciprocal agreement with Russia not to engage in the propaganda of criticism.
You can hear the subsequent broadcast 'Russia in the Melting Pot' as part of this collection.
Wells had a long history of involvement with and interest in Russia. He had encountered Lenin in 1920, a meeting he documented in his book 'Russia in the Shadows' (1921). In 1934, he travelled to the Kremlin to meet Stalin and, in the same year, he also visited President Franklin D Roosevelt in the USA.
HG Wells on the failings of Stalin's economic 'Five Year Plan'.
Our economic and political lives are 'out of gear'.
How the motor car serves as a warning to us all.
HG Wells challenges the idea of 'Britain for the British'.
A talk on the worldwide community of English speakers.
HG Wells welcomes the former president of Czechoslovakia.
How the printed word has reached the world's entire population.
HG Wells declares that it's time to 'face up to your inheritance'.
The newspaper is 'dead as mutton', says HG Wells.
An invitation to HG Wells to go on air for the first time.
HG Wells agrees to speak about world peace.
Wells reassures the BBC that his broadcast will be objective.
Will HG Wells's broadcast require 'toning down'?
Preparations for a broadcast by HG Wells.
Concerns that Wells has not submitted a manuscript go right to the top.
Wells makes a commitment to objectivity.
Wells responds to an invitation to speak about evolution.
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