HC Deb 23 February 1966 vol 725 cc392-3
27. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Postmaster-General what steps he will take to prevent pirate radio stations from broadcasting advertisements which are prohibited from being broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation and commercial television stations in the United Kingdom; and if he will seek to take action against the advertising agents and business interests concerned.

Mr. Benn

This will be covered by the legislation which will be introduced.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he intends to take any action, for example, about the advertising campaigns of cigarette manufacturers which are illegal on the legal broadcasting system? When does my right hon. Friend propose to introduce the legislation to which he refers?

Mr. Benn

I can confirm that there are no existing powers to deal with these although my predecessor, Mr. Bevins, approached the advertising interests to try to persuade them to deal with the matter themselves; but what my hon. Friend raised is a different question and it will be covered by legislation.

Sir C. Osborne

When the right hon. Gentleman looks at the question of advertising on radio stations, will he bear in mind the problem of the local county newspapers—the effect which this will have on their revenue and the danger of eliminating these very useful local papers?

Mr. Benn

That is a different question, but I have very much in mind the considerations which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Can we expect this legislation, or will we have to wait for the review which the right hon. Gentleman so often talks about?

Mr. Benn

Legislation has nothing to do with the review and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, this will be brought before the House as soon as practicable.