HC Deb 29 June 1967 vol 749 cc738-9
46. Mr. McNamara

asked the Postmaster-General what steps he is taking to prevent funds from inside the United Kingdom being used to finance pirate radio in broadcasting programmes aiding and abetting the policies of the rebellious régime in Rhodesia; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Short

The way to stop objectionable broadcasting of this kind is to silence the pirate broadcasting stations. The Bill for this purpose will, I hope, complete its passage through Parliament tomorrow.

Mr. McNamara

As this programme was giving active encouragement to the Smith régime in Southern Rhodesia, is there no way in which my right hon. Friend can prosecute those who either supplied the funds or participated in the programmes?

Mr. Short

I have no idea whether funds have been made available to York University Conservative Club, which, I understand, supported these programmes. As far as the broadcasts are concerned, I think that it is a matter for the good sense of hon. Members. However, I hope that the whole thing will end very shortly.

Mr. Robert Cooke

Is not the best way to kill the pirates to substitute a robust form of local broadcasting, which we do not look like getting under this Government? Will the right hon. Gentleman give some attention to this?

Mr. Short

We are starting Radio 247 on 30th September. It will be a robust music service.[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Perhaps hon. Members would wait until they hear it before they pass judgment. We are also starting local broadcasting stations in nine towns and cities throughout the country.