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London Airport (Buildings, Demolition)

Volume 467: debated on Wednesday 13 July 1949

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he is aware that the notice of his intention to issue an order taking power to demolish any building within five miles from the centre of London Airport, namely, in almost the whole of South-west Middlesex, and to prohibit and remove cables, pipes and other apparatus in that area, has caused disquiet and uncertainty, which have not been allayed by the announcement that no houses will be demolished before 1953; and whether he will issue a further statement without delay explaining what is the limit of his intentions so that the development of this area may be resumed in the light of that explanation.

Yes, Sir. My noble Friend issued a further statement on 7th July. I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Has not the hon. Member seen that I referred to that statement in my Question?

No, Sir. The Question, as I read it, referred to the order and not to the further statement of the Minister.

If the hon. Gentleman reads the Question again he will see that I did refer to the further statement. Is it really necessary for the hon. Gentleman's noble Friend to constitute himself, as he does, virtually the dictator of this area? Would it not be better if he defined his intentions much more precisely than he has done?

My noble Friend does not take dictatorial powers. If required, there can be a public inquiry, and the order, if made, is laid on the Table of this House.

Does the hon. Gentleman's answer mean that his Department have finally decided to persevere with Heathrow as the official London airport?