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Written Answers

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 1 December 1977

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Written Answers

Customs And Immigration: Heathrow Airport

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many Customs and Immigration officials are presently employed at Heathrow Airport and how many will be needed to man the new General Aviation Terminal there.

The PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY of STATE, DEPARTMENT of the ENVIRON MENT
(Baroness Birk)

The numbers of Customs officers and Immigration Service staff employed at the Heathrow Airport passenger terminals on 31st October 1977 were, respectively, 392 and 509. The General Aviation Terminal has been brought into use for domestic flights only, and therefore attendance by Customs and Immigration staff will not be necessary.

Unidentified Flying Objects

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are aware that in an interview on France-Inter radio on 21st February 1974 Monsieur Robert Galley, then French Minister of Defence, stated that his Ministry had set up a section in 1954 to study eyewitness accounts of unidentified flying objects; and whether our Ministry of Defence also has a section to investigate these unidentified flying objects.

The Government have no record of a statement made in February 1974 by the then French Minister of Defence.Our Ministry of Defence has no specific organisation engaged on the examination of reports of unidentified flying objects; reports are examined by specialist staffs as part of their normal duties to see if they contain any implications for the defence of the United Kingdom, investigations into any scientific significance of phenomena which go beyond defence interests are not carried out by the Department.

Road Signs

asked Her Majesty's Government:What information the large yellow backed road signs exhibiting black triangles, diamonds, circles and squares now proliferating in the West Midlands meant to convey to the motorist; and whether they will be included in the new

Highway Code for everyone's information.

These new signs mark routes for traffic to follow when some emergency requires a section of motorway to be closed. They guide drivers from the motorway and back to it beyond the point of closure. Because the signs are at present individually authorised for each route and have not yet been prescribed in regulations for general use, they are not being included in the new Highway Code; but they have received press publicity and an explanatory leaflet has been produced for distribution to drivers. I shall be sending the noble Lord a copy of the leaflet and copies have been placed in the Library.House adjourned at ten minutes before eight o'clock.