HC Deb 14 April 1964 vol 693 cc225-6
24. Mr. Lipton

asked the Postmaster-General what action he has taken to dissuade advertisers from making use of Radio "Caroline"

Mr. Bevins

On three occasions during the past two years I have invited the attention of the principal advertising associations to reports of plans to establish broadcasting stations on ships—not "Caroline" specifically—outside territorial waters and I have sought their co-operation in dissuading their members from supporting such ventures. The answers they have given me have been encouraging.

Mr. Lipton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that doubts are being expressed about the truthfulness of the statement which he made in the House last week? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"] Wait a minute. Will the right hon. Gentleman state specifically which representative organisations of advertisers have given him an assurance that they will tell their members not to broadcast on Radio "Caroline", and will he also say on what date he received those assurances? Will he make it quite clear whether or not the Advertising Association, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers Ltd. and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising are among the associations which have given him the assurance which he claims they have given?

Mr. Bevins

There are three advertising associations with which the Post Office has been in contact over this matter—the Advertising Association, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers Ltd. and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The third organisation has, at our request, on three occasions circulated its members ex- pressing the Post Office point of view on advertising on pirate radio stations. I have no reason at all to suppose that any leading advertisers in this country will support that venture.

Mr. B. Harrison

Will my right hon. Friend do nothing to deprive the people of East Anglia of the first decent radio programme they have had for a long time?

Mr. Mason

Is the Postmaster-General now able to reveal to the House the steps that he intends to take to discourage the permanent establishment of these pirate radio ships around our shores?

Mr. Bevins

We are still examining the possibilities of legislation and are making a technical examination of the possibilities of jamming, although I shall have to proceed cautiously there.

Mr. Thorpe

Will the right hon. Gentleman use all his endeavours to see that no ex-Cabinet Ministers take time on this service to broadcast their views of their former colleagues or the methods by which they were sacked?

Captain Litchfield

I understand that this vessel now has no flag or registration. What is the position regarding liability for seizure or other deterrent action on the high seas?

Mr. Bevins

My understanding is that the Panamanian Government have withdrawn the ship's registration, which creates a number of very practical difficulties.

Mr. Lipton

In view of the very unsatisfactory nature of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.

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