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Bombing Range, Heligoland

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is now in a position to fix a date for the final cessation of the bombardment of Heligoland; and when it will be possible to hand over the island to the native Frisian inhabitants.

A survey to find an alternative bombing range to Heligoland is in progress, but I cannot at present say whether it will be possible to bring a new range into use before March, 1952, which is the latest date by which Heligoland will be given up.

Does the hon. Gentleman not recollect the promise given by his right hon. and learned Friend, that if targets were placed at his disposal on other islands, the bombing would cease? I understand that those targets have been placed at his disposal by the German authorities.

No. There has not yet been agreement on any particular target. We hope we shall find one before the end of this year. As soon as we find one we shall stop using Heligoland.

Having regard to recent attempts at the plantation in Heligoland of persons of a persuasion other than that of the native Frisian inhabitants, may it not be necessary to partition Heligoland?

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that none of those Communists or others had anything whatever to do with Heligoland? Not a single one of them was a Frisian native.