HC Deb 24 July 1939 vol 350 cc1015-6
43. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Postmaster-General what steps are being taken to use the services of amateur radio operators in the event of war; and is he aware that, with little expenditure, a 24-hour service could be maintained even in the event of a breakdown of the grid electricity system?

Major Tryon

It has been decided, after consultation with the Government Departments concerned, that it would be essential in time of war to close down the wireless transmitting sets used by experimenters. I understand that steps have been taken by the Admiralty and the Air Ministry to enroll a number of suitable wireless experimenters for special wireless duties in time of emergency.

Mr. Bartlett

Would the Minister not agree that a considerable number of these amateur operators have very good War records and could maintain communications at a time when all the wires in the country were broken down; that they could still maintain communications on behalf of the Government and would it not be rather a pity that they should all be closed down? Could I submit evidence to the Minister of the actual position?

Major Tryon

The value of these operators is fully realised, and they have been given an opportunity to join the Royal Air Force Civilian Wireless Reserve or the Royal Naval Wireless Reserve, in order that their skill might be made use of.