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Aircraft And Shipping (Distress Signals)

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1950

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asked the Postmaster-General why he declined the offer of the Radio Society of Great Britain to assist in listening for aircraft or shipping in distress, in view of the assistance received from amateur radio operators during the search for the trawler "Milford Viscount," and when this assistance would be at no cost to the public.

The standing arrangements for the reception in the United Kingdom of signals from ships and aircraft in distress at sea are generally found to be adequate. Where it is considered advisable exceptionally to augment these arrangements, the assistance of the public, including amateur radio operators belonging to the Radio Society of Great Britain, will be invited.

Does not the Minister think that at this time it would be a wise thing to get going a system which might be very useful later? In view of the signal service which is rendered by this society, would he give them more encouragement?

This matter arose out of the loss of the "Milford Viscount." That is the subject of inquiry at present, and I think I ought not to say anything about the use of amateurs until that inquiry has been completed. There is a lot of confusion, and if these amateurs are to assist us, it must be under very strict supervision.