Report on the formation of SACU printed in The Spokesman Review ➚ May 17th 1965 from Spokane, Washington State
Formation of a new British-Chinese society in London to foster friendly relations between Britain and Communist China should be recognized for what it is. Officially, relations between the two countries have been friendly for some time. The British government recognizes Red China and trades briskly with her.
With all this in mind, it scarcely seems necessary that a society be formed to create friendliness. Chief purpose of the new organization, of course, is to feed propaganda to the British people and to the world at large. This will be done through many avenues, in the thin guise of Informing the British about the Chinese “ideas, achievements and policies... both in history and today.” Such so-called “information” will consist of a giant drum-beat campaign, in which none of the failures of the Chinese Communists and their system, and certainly no descriptions of their cruelty and oppression as imposed on others, will be mentioned.
Many prominent British have loaned their names to the new Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, Among them are Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, historian Arnold Toynbee, composer Benjamin Britten, authors Somerset Maugham and J.B. Priestley end actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Bernard Miles. Whether they sincerely ate dedicated to promoting pro-Communist relations or just being duped themselves, the danger is equally great. The damage Is done; the result is the same. Others, seeing names such accomplished and prominent British citizens linked to the “understanding” society, will be influenced. There will be those who say “If Somerset Maugham believes in it, I know it is all right.” Others, wishing to be considered as traveling in the same circles as prominent people, will join for what they think is “name-association” value for themselves.
It is important that the British and the world at large be aware from its inception that SACU is a propaganda machine for the Chinese Communists, and the joiners will be contributing to that cause and no other.
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