HC Deb 07 April 1964 vol 692 cc784-5
17. Mr. Mason

asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement on the activities and broadcasts of the radio station Radio "Caroline"; if he is aware of the inherent dangers of allowing such a station to continue; and whether he will either jam all broadcasts, or prepare legislation to make pirate radio stations operating off the coastline illegal.

Mr. Bevins

A station calling itself Radio "Caroline" has been broadcasting programmes of music during the day-time from a ship beyond territorial waters off Harwich. I recognise the dangers of the situation and have not overlooked the measures suggested by the hon. Member. As I informed the House on 5th February, there is a prospect of concerted action against pirate broadcasting by countries of the Council of Europe before long, but meanwhile am considering the possibility of new legislation. As the House knows, I am relying on British advertisers not to use this or any similar unauthorised station.

Mr. Mason

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am obliged to him for that reply, and pleased to hear that he is seriously considering the matter? Is he aware that there is a very urgent need for something to be done to discourage the permanent establishment of Radio "Caroline" and Radio "Atlanta", and for a policy which would discourage the setting up of any other radio stations to Form a radio network round our shores?

Mr. Bevins

I have indicated that we have not been idle in this matter. The most important thing is to dissuade advertising interests from using these pirate stations. The principal advertising associations have given an assurance that the principal advertisers will boycott these offenders. The gramophone record industry is also co-operating with the authorities and the Panamanian Government has withdrawn registration from the ship.

Sir H. Butcher

Will my right hon. Friend invite the directors of the B.B.C. to consider whether they should now accept a bit of advertising?

Mr. P. Williams

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me whom this station is harming?

Mr. Bevins

Yes, the station is causing interference with a Belgian station which communicates with ships at sea, and also with British maritime services.

Forward to