§ 14. Mr. Neil Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will increase the number of times a registered radio amateur emergency network group may participate in exercises with their user services to four per month.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
The present limit on Raynet group exercises of one per month was agreed between the Department and the Radio Society of Great Britain. We are currently considering this issue again with the society, and shall consider any proposals it puts forward.
§ Mr. Thorne
In view of the importance of Raynet to charities and other organisations that may run fétes in the summer, will my hon. Friend carefully consider this matter, as I believe that there is considerable demand for this type of assistance on those occasions? It helps to clear the airwaves of the type of behaviour found among some CB enthusiasts and it is particularly important for civil defence. In that regard, I would be grateful if my hon. Friend were as generous as possible.
§ Mr. Barron
Mention has been made of civil defence. Has the Minister considered the introduction of a novice's radio licence for radio amateurs so that they can eventually hold a full licence and be of benefit to the nation?
§ Mr. Fletcher
We are not considering a novice's licence, but arrangements exist whereby very young people can learn to use these radios under supervision from a proper licence holder.