HC Deb 28 October 1953 vol 518 cc2774-5
13. Captain Orr

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether, in view of the radio interference caused by industrial, scientific and medical apparatus, he will lay down specifications as a condition of granting licences.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. David Gammans)

This type of electrical apparatus does not require a licence from the Postmaster-General. The Postmaster-General is, however, authorised under Part II of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1949, to make regulations to reduce interference, but he can only do this after consulting the technical committees provided for in the Act. Regulations have already been made on internal combustion engines, following the report of one committee, and other committees are studying the difficult problems of small electrical motors and refrigerators. These are the three major causes of trouble. I must warn the House that prevention of interference raises very difficult problems and years may well elapse before they can be regarded as solved.

Captain Orr

In view of the fact that the forthcoming introduction of competitive television is likely to increase the number of viewers who wish to see television, will my hon. Friend press on with this without delay?

Mr. Gammans

There is no delay whatever, but this problem raises very difficult questions which are not easy to solve.

Mr. Ness Edwards

If the hon. Gentleman says there is no delay whatever, I should like to know what delay is. Surely this is a matter of great importance to the country. Can he get the Postmaster-General and the technical committees to move swiftly?

Mr. Gammans

It is not a question of the Postmaster-General moving swiftly; it is the technical committees, and I am afraid we cannot hurry them more quickly than they think it is possible for them to move.

Mr. G. Williams

Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House why it is that for this purpose suppressors are compulsory on new cars and not on old cars?

Mr. Gammans

Compulsory fitting of suppressors on old cars could only be done by engaging a lot of inspectors with the right to poke their noses under the bonnets of the cars.