Pirate Radio and Television Stations

Oral Answers to Questions — Posts and Telecommunications – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th July 1970.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking 12:00 am, 6th July 1970

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what steps he has taken to deal with the activities of pirate radio and television stations.

Photo of Mr George Proudfoot Mr George Proudfoot , Brighouse and Spenborough

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he intends to continue jamming broadcasting from a ship in the North Sea; whether such action interferes with the reception of British Broadcasting Corporation services; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

While we intend to introduce commercial radio, we cannot condone the illicit use of frequencies contrary to our laws and to international agreements, which expressly prohibit broadcasting from ships and aircraft outside national territories. We are bound, therefore, to continue counter-measures, not least in order to protect the frequencies allocated to other countries, which the pirate is now using. I am determined to keep interference to B.B.C. services to the minimum; but the evidence is at present that virtually all the interference is caused by the pirate's own transmissions.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that Answer will be particularly interesting to the fairly large number of young people who voted for Conservative candidates at the election in the mistaken belief that a Conservative Government would immediately either break or renegotiate the international agreements on wave lengths?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

I believe that they voted for Conservative candidates at the last election because they wanted competition introduced. They want competition in radio, and that is what there will be.

Photo of Mr George Proudfoot Mr George Proudfoot , Brighouse and Spenborough

What is the cost of jamming these broadcasts? Is my right hon. Friend aware that the quickest way to stop them is to hurry on with plans for dry land commercial radio?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

The cost is at present about £1,200 a week, of which about £500 is in payment to Securicor to guard against threats of violence made by supporters of the pirates.