Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

2 corrections, most recently by ColinMcDiarmid - Show corrections

The P.M.G. private eye

With the spread of television all over the Common-   wealth, television licences are a million-pound business

to the Postmaster-General's Department.

AT the end of 1959,

there were 737,855 licensed TV receivers in the Commonwealth. This

represents, at £5 a pop. the pretty sum of £3,689,275.

When the money runs into millions in any business, every- one wants more, and the P.M.G,'s department is no exception. They're out in a big way after the pirates-tele- viewers who own unlicensed receivers.

It is no wonder, when sur- vey authorities put the pirate

sets down at more than double the licensed ones. All of which runs up the figures into un- dreamed of sums that would

be of great assistance to thc P.M.G's vast TV expenditure.

The Department employs many methods to track down the pirates, but they have had great success with their latest weapon, the television receiver detector van, a maniacal con- traption that is real psycho- logical warfare.

The van is just an ordinary enough looking panel van with

three aerials.

It has a crew of two, a driver and a P.M.G. technical detective. Wearing head- phones and working the'equip- ment inside, the technician can detect a TV set on the dials with no trouble at all.

The detective picks up a signal which shows there are

TV receivers in the area and the three aerials act as direc- tion finders that send the de- tective off like a bloodhound

on the right trail.

Sometimes he finds a licensed receiver, at other times a pirate, but the van always leads him to a TV receiver.

Personally I think the P.M.G. was un-psychological

when he put the scientific ? equipment inside. Just the sight of it would be enough

to make me answer the door

with my £5 in my hand-if I was a pirate.

The vans are in use in Melbourne and Sydney. They will be used in other capital cities, it is believed, as they become available.

Licensed sets throughout the Commonwealth are increasing month by month at an almost standard rate of 27,500.

Latest available figures show the State licences as: New South Wales, 358,544; Vic- toria, 307,950; Queensland, 27,590; South Australia, 34,060; Western Australia, 9621; and Tasmania, 90.

On the figures, Queensland and South Australia are very


In Queensland, where TV started officially last August 16, licensed sets numbered 27,528 in just over 4 months, a figure it took six months to reach in N.S.W.

In South Australia it took



only three months for licences to reach this figure.

The P.M.G. has put the

vans on show at a number of

country shows, where they have been a very popular ex-


* * *

SYDNEY Channel 9's new

edition of the Late Show (Fridays, IO p.m.), with Joe Martin and George Wallace, jun., sharing the honors as star- ring comperes, was good TV. It was a smooth production

that went without a hitch and

promises wonderfully fpr the future.

George Wallace, jun., stole the show. He's a really funny man. He even made me enjoy the most incredible under- water ballet I have ever seen.

I know now it was presented as a serious contribution to the arts. But at the time I thought it was a turn and that Wallace was the large and rather wobbly starfish that teetered through the piece.

Anyway, thanks to him,

:> atched carefully, waiting (tr

denouement which I «.

I'vcted to be King Neptm\ unmasking Wallace and pid- ding him out of his kingàv

t ¡th his trident. If the al ture is questionable there a big laugh in the new Show. I recommend it.

? ? *

BIG bouquet for A.

TV for an entra hour, "Dock Brief," a live

that originated in Sydney ant will be seen in all other Stale

It has only two character an old, incompetent barris« called Morgenhall, who bj

never had a brief until he

chosen to defend the othtj character in the play, a

seed dealer called Fowle, wt|

has murdered his wife.

Moray Powell played Mo:

genhall. Reg Lye playa]


The play is pathetic, it

witty, it is comic. In if.|

hands of these two

actors it became embarras) ingly real as they discussed tl case, imagined its defence aw outcome, and the fame would bring.

"Dock Brief" is TV at entertaining best.