The British Broadcasting Corporation World Service start broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.
The BBC’s Empire Service began short-wave broadcasts on 12 December 1932, from Daventry, England, with the purpose of providing a radio service for the colonies and dominions of the British Empire – and as such constituting the initial version of what would become the BBC World Service.
Whilst the Empire Service has been discussed in terms of the general history of the BBC, with the exception of McKenzie’s (1987) overview chapter it has been the subject of little scholarly attention in its own
right. The concern of this paper is to examine the light cast by psychoanalytically derived perspectives on the voice and the terms in which the voice figures in regard to Lacan’s conception of the discourse of the master, on principally the political functions of the Empire Service – from its commencement at the close of 1932 through to the outbreak of the Second World War; and secondly on the BBC’s initial foreign language services which developed out of the Empire Service.