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The National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the British Information Services presents window on the world a tape recorded series of talks by eminent British citizens. This week our speaker is serve Robert Scott commissioner general for the United Kingdom in Southeast Asia. His subject Southeast Asia today. Here now is Robert Scott. Just over two years ago I arrived in the United States to take up my duties and to British embassy in Washington. This often noon I leave for London on my way to my next post. By the time you hear me sing these words I shall be back in Southeast Asia. I say back because most of my professional career as a member of my Majesty's foreign service has been spent in eastern Asia. I was 12 he hasn't China. I worked and lived in Japan in Hong Kong and Singapore. I am not there for going to
places that are strange to me. My next home will be in Singapore where I lived from 1942 1947 seven years half of that time in prison interned by the Japanese. I have known Southeast Asia in good times and bad and I am looking forward with great interest to resuming contact with it. Of course I shall find Rangers when I go back to new countries and new government struggling with vast economic and social problems with the need to maintain law and order to train officials to develop resources to ward off external dangers to raise living standards to expand social welfare work and all these. Remember in the first 30 years of their independence. In the area with which I shall be most directly concerned Southeast Asia
many races and many peoples have left their mark. A thousand years ago there was an Indian empire that stretched down through Indonesia. At one time China claimed jurisdiction over vast areas to the south and west of China. These famous sailors and merchants of the world the Arabs first charted the sea routes across the Indian Ocean travelers explorers discoverers and traders from Europe. Spanish Dutch Portuguese and British have all played a part. New philosophies from France at the beginning of the last century and later from the United States and of course American traders missionaries and educators have also had a profound influence on eastern Asia and in modern times the rise of Japan. And later of China as a first class power and the spread of communism
which in Asia as in Europe is the official dogma of the largest country of the continent have introduced new factors of immense significance for Southeast Asia. With all these formative influences with all these diverse elements that work in Southeast Asia presents to the world a puzzling and apparently confused picture. This is a situation which Americans should not find hard to understand for this country the United States like Southeast Asia has been a melting pot of peoples and religious and cultural traditions of every kind. These you in this country the United States you have fused them together into a new and distinctively American pattern. To me having spent so many years in Asia I was twenty years there
before serving in London and later in Washington and then spending these last two years in the United States. It has been of keen personal interest to observe how the history of my own country Britain has been intertwined with the history of both of the areas where I have had the honor to serve as a member of the British Foreign Service. It is not only the explorers and the traders the soldiers and the sailors the colonists who have left their mark both in Asia and in America. The lawyers philosophers and writers have also made great contributions. The British system of law and justice. British respect for the rights of the individual British tolerance of those whose opinions differ. These have contributed to the making of this great country the United States and to the making of modern Asia. And I am proud that it should be so.
Of course there are many differences between races between the peoples of Asia and the peoples of Britain. These differences are obvious in the case of East and Oriental countries. They are perhaps not so obvious. If Britain and America are compared. But nonetheless they exist. There are differences that arise from geography from your and our physical environment from our climate from the different tasks that faced our expanding nations in the last century and a half. You carved an empire from a continent. We from the seas. It is because you are not English and we are not American because we have different characters different temperaments that our partnership has such strength and vitality. For a partnership I believe it to
be for good or ill for better or worse out of the affairs of our two countries have in the past been in ACC strictly bound up together and so it will be in the future. Last weekend before I left Washington when I was packing up my house there I thought I would count up the states. I have not visited. There are 13 of them but at least I have visited 35 of the states in this country and however brief my visits. I carry away vivid and unforgettable memories of each and every one great modern highways and bridges. Amongst the greatest manmade wonders of all time the Grand Canyon the Great Lakes and the great rivers. The trees the mountains some of nature's most stupendous creations the bewildering variety of forests and deserts and
plains the scene of man struggles against a continent. But from the hardiness and the independence of the early pioneer and from the skill and persistence of the modern engineer there emerges a pattern of the American character which is the bedrock of this nation. To have lived in this name in this country and to have traveled all over it has been a most rewarding experience. My crowded memories have one connecting link. People are warm hearted friendly people who in their lives exemplify the word neighborliness. The concept of good neighbors has a significance far transcending the problems of individuals living next door to one another. It is in a sense to go to foreign policy that country should live as good neighbors as one with another. A goal whose
attainment is made vastly more important and more urgent by the latest discoveries in science enormous almost unlimited power is being placed at the disposal of mankind to use for its own betterment or for its own destruction. I wanted in this farewell talk just to say thank you. When I was first invited by British Information Services to say a few words before I left the United States that is what I had in mind to see. I had not intended to get into too serious a discussion of world affairs but I cannot help saying that I leave with this thought uppermost in my mind that surely mankind has never before been faced with such a challenge as today is science to be the master of man
or his servant. Nor is the challenge only in the material field that man exposed in Singapore. It will be my privilege to observe at first hand the emerging pattern of a new Asia. There in that fermenting turbulence situation two great currents of thought above all others dominate men's minds. The urge to run their own affairs and the desire to improve their living standards. For myself I have confidence that these great challenges confronting us today can be met as challenges have been met in the past and that mankind will progress. Perhaps sometimes a little unsteadily perhaps through some anxious and trying periods. But I am confident that given patience and hard work and good will mankind
will prove that they can move to the noble goal stated by the president of the United States in Geneva he said. I could a sound peace with security justice well-being and freedom for the peoples of the world can be achieved but only by patiently and thoughtfully following a hard and secure and tested road. My time is drawing to an end in Britain when a guest has been staying in your house. It is customary for the guest to write to his hostess afterwards. You have the same custom here of course in England we call this a bread and butter letter. I do not know whether in the United States you use the same phrase but if the sentiments are hackneyed they are nonetheless sincere.
And so my wife and I want to say thank you. To all those who have made our stay in this country so pleasant so interesting so stimulating. We carry away with us crowds of happy memories. A fishing camp in Maine a trip to Texas. I've been in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I saw the finest statue of my Scottish national plate. Robert buttons than I have ever seen. The Warm Springs political foundation in Georgia. York Pennsylvania it's beautiful countryside the scene of the meeting of the first national convention in Tulsa Oklahoma. I went out to see the statue of Will Rogers whom I remember meeting many years ago in North Manchuria the great trees north of San Francisco. The giant dragon giant sequoias I think called Santa
Fe New Mexico. And then again some of the scenes of your historic past the Donner Pass between California and Nevada. I can think of so many others. But there is perhaps no time to say more than just one final word. We leave this country not only with these happy memories but we leave also deeply and sincerely impressed by the way that America and Americans are responding to the new sort challenges of world leadership and World responsibility. Thank you. You have been listening to a certain Robert Scott commissioner general for the United Kingdom in Southeast Asia speaking on the subject of Southeast Asia today. Listen next week one window on the world will present Nobel Prize winner Sir Norman and General Sir Norman will speak on the subject of progress and peace. Britain and America in a changing
world. This has been a tape recorded presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the British Information Services. This is the n AB Radio Network.
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Window on the world
Sir Robert Scott
Producing Organization
British Information Services
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Sir Robert Scott, United Kingdrom Commissioner General for Southeast Asia, on "Southeast Asia Today"
Series Description
A series of short talks by well-known British personalities on the subjects usually associated with them.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Radio programs--United States.
Media type
Producing Organization: British Information Services
Speaker: Scott, Robert, Sir, 1903-1968
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-30-38 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:44
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Chicago: “Window on the world; Sir Robert Scott,” 1956-03-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Window on the world; Sir Robert Scott.” 1956-03-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Window on the world; Sir Robert Scott. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from