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Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 27 February 1962

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what research is being conducted into noise and its modification, with particular reference to the noise from jet aeroplanes; what progress is being made in such research; and whether he will make a report available.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what research is being carried out in connection with noise, and in particular with noise from jet aircraft.

In establishments for which my noble Friend is responsible, research is going on at the National Physical Laboratory, on noise in industry from motor vehicles and from aircraft including jet aircraft; at the Building Research Station, on noise in buildings, and at the National Engineering Laboratory, on noise from machines. Extensive experiments have been made on a subjective assessment of motor vehicle and aircraft noise and surveys on noise in communities and in industry are in progress. The Committee on the Problem of Noise, under the Chairmanship of Sir Alan Wilson, appointed by my noble Friend, will report in due course.

In view of increasing public awareness of the part played by noise in adding to the stresses and strains of life, and the need to treat this as a major problem, is the Parliamentary Secretary satisfied with the progress which is being made, and will he undertake that his Ministry will report to the House from time to time on the progress being made?

We are never satisfied that sufficient progress is ever made in any field. We are merely spurred on to new efforts. The Wilson Committee has been set up specifically to review the whole matter and to make specific suggestions and I hope that we shall have its Report before the end of the year.

Does my hon. Friend know of any scientific law which indicates that the length of a supplementary reply by a Minister should be in inverse ratio to his height?

Order. I do not think that that arises from noise and its modification.

Ought not there to be a little more co-ordination in this matter? I see that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation spent the night of Wednesday, 8th November, in the general manager's flat on the second floor of the Queen's Building at London Airport to study noise. Ought not the Parliamentary Secretary to go there, too, quite soon?

I should have thought that one night by one member of the Government was sufficient in one year.