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Broadcasting

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Tony Benn Mr Tony Benn , Bristol South East 12:00 am, 13th May 1965

"Muzak" is one example.

This wish to have a background of music, sometimes rather disrespectfully called "audible wallpaper", is a feature of public demand which cannot be left out of account. But it is essentially a national demand which can be met only by the use of a national wavelength. It would bean appalling waste of the potentialities of local radio to have a multiplicity of "pop" stations duplicating each other in different areas. In any case, neither the record companies nor the musicians could possibly tolerate the unlimited "needle" time which would absolutely destroy the livelihood of the one and the business of the other, which, in the case of the record companies, of course, includes a substantial export business.

Local v.h.f. "pop" stations could not even be received by the "transistor" audience who buy cheap transistor sets which are capable of receiving only the medium-wave band. Therefore, any idea that there is a relationship between the demand which the pirates may have revealed—though they did not create it—and the future pattern of local sound broadcasting in this country seems to me to be an illusion.