§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Postmaster General whether he will state the names, ownership and situation of all pirate radio stations; which are within and which outside British territorial waters; and which have been occupied by the Ministry of Defence, or otherwise used as Government property.
§ Mr. Benn
The names and situations of the pirate radio stations near the coasts of the British Isles are:
Radio Caroline, Radio London, Radio England, Britain Radio—on ships off the coast of Essex.
Radio 270—on a ship off the coast of Yorkshire.
Radio Caroline—on a ship off the coast of the Isle of Man.
Radio Scotland—on a former lightship in the Firth of Clyde.
Radio 390, Radio City, Radio Essex—on abandoned forts in the Thames Estuary.
I am unable to give information about the ownership of the stations. Radios Scotland, 390, City and Essex are to landward of the outer limit of the territorial sea: the other stations are, so far as I am aware, to seaward of it. The forts on which Radio 390, City and Essex operate were used in wartime by the armed forces.
As I have told the House on many occasions, legislation to deal with offshore radio stations has been prepared and its introduction has only been delayed because of the pressure of other legislation. However the Bill will be introduced before the summer recess.
Meanwhile the Government are completing their general review of broadcasting policy in the course of which serious consideration has been given to the better provision of more popular music on a national basis. In addition various proposals for the establishment of local public service radio stations have been under consideration. A statement on broadcasting policy will be made as soon as possible.