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Oakington And Waterbeach

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Air the number of aircraft operating from the R.A.F. stations at Oakington and Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire; on what service the machines are engaged; the total number of persons employed at each station and the total cost thereof.

One squadron of 20 aircraft is based at Oakington, and another squadron at Waterbeach. The aircraft are Yorks, and they are engaged in the passenger and freight services run by Transport Command to the Middle East, India and Singapore. Nine hundred and thirty-four members of the R.A.F. are stationed at Oakington, and 801 at Waterbeach. The cost of the two stations is about £560,000 a year.

Could not my right hon. Friend see that the personnel of these two stations were all put on one station, which would release about 300 or 400 acres for food production?

My hon. Friend is wrong in thinking that one station could take both squadrons.

Would it not be possible to concentrate our air strength in that part of the world at the old-established prewar stations like Mildenhall, Stradishall and Honington, instead of keeping so many of them on good arable land, which is being wasted?

The whole question of the location of our stations has been under consideration for a long time.