HC Deb 23 February 1965 vol 707 cc58-9W
69. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General what steps he has taken recently and plans to take to provide instant and effective radio communication between ships at sea in the North Sea and other northern waters and the relevant shore radio stations.

Mr. Benn

After consultation with the shipping and fishing interests plans for improving communication by means of the medium frequency radio telephone service are in course of being implemented. These plans are aimed at making more effective use of the frequencies that are available for this service under international agreements. In addition, the aerial of the shore station at Wick is being re-sited and this should improve the service to ships in northern waters.

70. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of recent complaints by masters of ships in the North Sea of atmospheric interference with radio communications between ships and shore radio stations; and if he will take scientific advice on plans to eliminate such interference for the better security of mariners in those areas.

Mr. Benn

I have received no recent complaints of atmospheric interference with reception of radio communications by ships in the North Sea, nor has such interference been experienced by our shore stations. If my hon. Friend has received reports of such interference I shall be grateful if he will let me have the details.