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Heathrow Fifth Terminal

Volume 33: debated on Monday 6 December 1982

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asked the Minister for Trade whether his Department will give evidence when the public inquiry into the Heathrow fifth terminal moves to West London.

My Department has already provided evidence on the Government's airports policy during the Stansted phase of these inquiries, and have indicated that officials will give further evidence during the Heathrow phase if this is requested by the inspector or the parties.

Will the Department of Trade make it abundantly clear to the inquiry inspector that, although for technical reasons an inquiry into a fifth terminal had to be held and that a quasi-judicial position must be maintained during that inquiry, successive Ministers at the Department of Trade—including my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, who is in his place, and my right hon. Friends the Members for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) and for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit), who are now the Secretaries of State for Defence and Employment—have repeatedly stated that it is Government policy that a fifth terminal at Heathrow should not be built and that there has been no change in Government policy?

Yes. I am sure that any officials who are called to give evidence will make clear the Government's policy.

Will my hon. Friend have uppermost in his mind the terms of the policy that he has just confirmed—a determination to diminish aircraft noise over west London? Will he do everything that he can to ensure that that policy is implemented and that we do not have a policy that will have the opposite effect?

I know that my hon. Friend has fought extremely hard for his constituents, and I am glad of this opportunity to tell him that the Government will do everything that they can to preserve a proper balance in those matters.