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Home Office Letter 1975/76

Listeners who wrote to the British Home Office at the end of 1975 or early in 1976 to complain about the actions being taken against Radio Caroline and its staff received the following reply from the Aeronautical and Maritime Branch:-

“Radio Caroline is an illicit broadcasting station operating from the vessel Mi Amigo moored in the Thames Estuary. Broadcasts from this station are made in contravention of the International Telecommunications Convention to which the United Kingdom is a signatory. The regulations annexed to the Convention specifically prohibit the establishment of broadcasting stations on board ships outside national territories and consequently the United Kingdom is under an obligation to do what it can to prevent such broadcasting.

Because radio frequencies generally are in short supply - and this is particularly true of the medium waveband - it is necessary to regulate and plan the use of frequencies nationally and internationally. Without such planning radio communication which includes safety services at sea and in the air, and television and radio broadcasting would be difficult if not impossible.

In the past offshore broadcasting stations have appropriated frequencies for their own use without regard to the needs of others and consequently have caused interference to vital services. For this reason member countries of the Council of Europe agreed to introduce legislation against such stations and the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 is the United Kingdom's contribution.

I hope you will find information contained above will help you understand why pirate broadcasting stations cannot be allowed to operate and you will appreciate that actions must be taken to preserve the orderly use of the radio frequency spectrum.”

The  Hold

HOLD Noun - cavity in a ship below deck where cargo is stowed. Also the area used to house transmitters on many radio ships.

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