HC Deb 06 July 1966 vol 731 cc425-7
40. Sir. J. Hobson

asked the Attorney-General whether he will refer recent events at Shivering Sands to the Director of Public Prosecutions for investigation, with a view to instituting criminal proceedings; and if he will make a statement thereafter.

The Attorney-General (Sir Elwyn Jones)

The police have already reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions upon the events in question. The Director is considering the report.

Sir J. Hobson

Does this mean that the Attorney-General takes the view that Shivering Sands are within the territorial jurisdiction of the United Kingdom and that law and order can be enforced there by Her Majesty's Government? If so, why did he advisè the Postmaster-General about the possibility of prosecution under the Wireless Telegraphy Act? Can he say whether the proposed Bill to be introduced by the Postmaster-General will bring these within the territorial jurisdiction or not?

The Attorney-General

If I may say so, they are Shivering Sands rather than Shivering Stands, but the position is that under the Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act, 1878, indictable offences committed in territorial waters are within the jurisdiction of the courts of this country. The question of summary jurisdiction will have to be determined by the courts if my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General decides to institute summary proceedings under the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1949.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is my right hon. and learned Friend saying, in effect, that in his view it is in order for proceedings to be taken? If he is going to institute proceedings, will he include in them Radio Scotland, which is at present moored within territorial waters?

The Attorney-General

All these matters are now under active consideration.

Mr. Bryan

Will the learned Attorney-General confirm that the Port of London Authority pays a fee to the Postmaster-General for a licence to broadcast mechanically from Shivering Sands? If so, how is it that the pirates escape this obligation?

The Attorney-General

No doubt these matters can be dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General if a Question is put down to him.