TELEVISION WHETHER Wireless Telegraphy Act extends to television: AGREEMENT BETWEEN Commonwealth and Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited BY WHICH COMPANY HAS right to establish and operate commercial wireless services: WHETHER TELEVISION SERVICES COME WITHIN wireless transmission or reception FOR PURPOSES OF AGREEMENT
Wireless Telegraphy Act 1905 s 4
With reference to the question asked by you in your letter of 7th March, 1939, as to whether the control of television is provided for, I desire to point out that it is not clear beyond doubt that the Wireless Telegraphy Act extends to television.
The definition of ‘wireless telegraphy’ is as follows:
‘Wireless telegraphy’ includes all systems of transmitting and receiving telegraphic or telephonic messages by means of electricity without a continuous metallic connexion between the transmitter and the receiver.
The Act (section 4) gives the Minister the exclusive privilege of establishing, erecting, maintaining and using stations and appliances for the purpose of transmitting messages by wireless telegraphy or receiving messages transmitted by wireless telegraphy.
It is not clear beyond doubt that the operation of television equipment is the transmission of a message within the meaning of the Wireless Telegraphy Act: in fact, I am inclined to think it is not.
I desire to point out, however, that the Agreement made in 1927 between the Commonwealth and Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited gives (by clause 14) the Company the right to establish and operate commercial wireless services–
- between Australia and ships at sea;
- between Australia and commercial or private aircraft (except aircraft trading or operating exclusively within Australia);
- between Australia and any territory under the authority of the Commonwealth (not being part of the Commonwealth); and
- between Australia and other countries.
Clause 4 of the same Agreement defines ‘Commercial Wireless Services’ as including ‘wireless telegraphy, wireless telephony and all further developments of wireless transmission or reception for commercial purposes’.
It seems clear, therefore, that, within the scope of its activities as laid down in clause 14 of the Agreement, the Company has the right to operate television services, as I think television services are clearly included in the words ‘all further developments of wireless transmission or reception for commercial purposes’.
[Vol. 32, p. 144]