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Third London Airport

Volume 13: debated on Monday 16 November 1981

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asked the Prime Minister which Departments of State will be represented by witnesses and which solely by written statements of evidence at the inquiry into a third London airport; for what reasons the decision was taken to represent different Departments in a different manner; and if she is satisfied that those who wish to contest Government evidence orally at the inquiry will have adequate opportunity to do so if that evidence is given in writing.

The Departments concerned have submitted written statements to the inquiry. A list of witnesses that the Government propose to call to give oral evidence is being made available to all concerned. Where it is clear that a witness might be of material assistance his name has been included on the list. Where, on the application of any party, the inspector considers that other Government witnesses might be of material assistance, the Department concerned would provide them. I am sending the right hon. Member a copy of the list of witnesses.

asked the Prime Minister if she will publish the letter received by the Treasury Solicitor conducting the Government's case at the inquiry into a third London airport from the North of England regional consortium; what response has been made to that letter; and if she will publish the Treasury Solicitor's reply in the Official Report.

The Consortium's letter of 3 November 1981 is receiving careful consideration and will be answered as soon as possible. As it relates to matters raised at the Stansted public inquiry, I think it would be more appropriate for the letter and the reply to it to be published as inquiry documents. I will arrange for the right hon. Member to receive copies when they are available.