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Reception, Morecambe And Lonsdale

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 27 October 1954

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he is aware that in Morecambe and Lonsdale the Home Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation is weak and variable; and if he will take steps to remedy this.

I understand from the B.B.C., that generally speaking, satisfactory reception of the North Home Service programme from Moorside Edge should be obtained in Morecambe and Lonsdale on receiving sets in good condition and using outdoor aerials. There is some interference after dark from a station in the Soviet Zone of Germany. The first list of V.H.F. stations, recently authorised, includes one at Holme Moss, and this will help the service in Morecambe and Lonsdale.

As this is a hilly district, as my hon. Friend knows, will he see that some booster is provided or that the area comes high on the list for a V.H.F. station? Will he accept my assurance, I having spent seven or eight weeks there this summer, that reception of the Home Service is variable?

Yes, I agree. The main trouble is the station in the Soviet Zone of Germany which interferes with the reception in the area mentioned by my hon. Friend. The B.B.C. programme is to have the V.H.F. station working by the end of 1956.

May I ask my hon. Friend to make some more local inquiries, when I think that he will find that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction—and with good ground? Is not his answer just a little too complacent?

I had not meant to be complacent. I accept that the service is had and that there is interference, but with the limited number of medium wavelengths available the only sensible and real way in which to deal with the matter is to introduce V.H.F.

Can the hon. Gentleman say when we are likely to have a further international review of these wavelengths, because some of the home services are suffering very badly indeed—especially the Welsh Home Service?

I agree that in parts of Wales reception of the Welsh Home Service is extremely bad. That, I think, is generally accepted. I should like notice of the question about a further conference. I cannot remember off-hand the date when the next one is due.