Pirate Radio Stations

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North 12:00 am, 13th July 1967

asked the Postmaster-General how many pirate radio stations are still operating; and if he is satisfied with the operation of the Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act.

Mr. Alan Lee Williams:

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is satisfied with the operation of the Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

asked the Postmaster-General when it is proposed to bring into operation the Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act.

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

There are nine pirate broadcasting stations operating; eight of them are off the United Kingdom. The Bill is awaiting the Royal Assent. It is hoped to bring it into force on 15th August.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Has the Postmaster-General seen reports that Radio Caroline, Radio London and three or four other pirate radio stations are setting up facilities abroad, collecting advertising abroad and preparing to operate from abroad, as we warned that they would when the Bill was going through the House? What plans has he to deal with this type of situation?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Of course I have seen the reports, and I know of the encouragement given by hon. Members opposite. After 15th August, if the Order is made, on that date the law will come into force, and anyone who renders assistance to these stations will be guilty of a criminal offence.

Photo of Mr William Price Mr William Price , Rugby

Can my right hon. Friend say how quickly he expects the Act will silence these pirate, radio stations?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

This depends on our colleagues abroad. They have been cooperating and I think the only one which has not done so is Holland.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that he is making his task of doing away with the pirates infinitely more difficult by bringing in the Order by 15th August before he has the new B.B.C. Radio 247 in operation?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

One difficulty has been the support given by the hon. Member and many of his hon. Friends to pirate stations.

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

Could we have a straight answer to that last question?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

No, Sir. That is the answer to the question.