On this day in Yorkshire 1950

Atomic War Play Broadcast was '˜unsuitable'

A decision by the B.B.C. to postpone a radio adaptation of “The Moment of Truth,” a novel about England in an atomic war, because of the international crisis, was agreed to by the authoress, Miss Storm Jameson.

Miss Jameson, who the wife of Professor G. P. Chapman, head of the Department of History at Leeds University, told me last night: “ ‘The Moment of Truth ‘ is about a third world war and the radio play was based on it.

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I was consulted by the B.B.C. and I agreed that it did not seem suitable to broadcast a play about a third world war at this time. I have no hard feelings about the decision.

A B.B.C. official at Manchester said: “We not feel it is proper to broadcast this play in face of the international situation. It is a social drama of England in the next war and there is not much doubt about who the war is supposed to be against.

We are quite confident we shall be able to broadcast it when circumstances are different.”

The decision to postpone the broadcast was taken after the play had been recorded at the B.B.C Leeds studio.

Mr. F. Bradnum, the producer, told me: “It is an extremely good play and a good novel, but at the present time it does give one a very gloomy outlook.”

He said that at the start of the play England had been damaged so badly by atomic bombs that the country was being evacuated so that the war could be carried on from America.

The play, he added, was to have occupied an hour and half in the Home Service on a Monday evening.

It was adapted for broadcasting by Anthony Gittins and the leading actors were James McKechnie and Esme Percy.

Miss Phyllis Bentley, in a review of “The Moment of Truth“ in “The Yorkshire Post“ last year, wrote: “The setting of Storm Jameson’s new novel is so painful to me that I can hardly command myself to judge the book a work of art, for we are in an imaginary future when England has been defeated in the next war and abandoned to an Eastern enemy.”

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