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Motor Vehicle Interference (Suppressors)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 27 October 1954

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will make a further appeal to motor vehicle operators and owners to fit suppressors on their engines and windscreen wipers so as to diminish interference with television reception especially having regard to the effect that arises in fringe areas.

Appeals are being made all the time through the B.B.C., the motoring organisations and the radio industry, and by displays in post offices. The Press has also co-operated. I am informed that possibly as a result of all this there is still a steady demand for suppressors to be fitted to older cars.

Has my hon. Friend any figures which would show what proportion of all vehicles in Britain have suppressors and what have not? Will my hon. Friend consider broadcasting on this question?

With regard to broadcasting myself, that is a matter outside my control. I cannot give my hon. Friend any figures. I do not think that they are known. All I can say is that this campaign has gone on very thoroughly for a considerable time, and I think that it is producing results.

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, as from now on, it would be appropriate and accurate if he makes it clear that on television matters he speaks by kind permission of Mr. Maurice Winnick and his associates?

Why is it not made compulsory to fit suppressors? Silencers are compulsory, and lately reflectors have been made compulsory, and yet it is not made compulsory to fit suppressors when in their absence television programmes are impaired for many people.

We have considered the matter, but it is no use having a regulation to make something compulsory unless one can enforce it. It is comparatively easy to enforce the regulation about silencers because one can hear if there is not a silencer. The proposal to make the fitting of suppressors compulsory would entail recruiting a corps of inspectors to go round looking at every motor car, and we do not believe that that is desirable or necessary, in view of the success which the present campaign is having.