Oral Answers to Questions — Prestwick Airport

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1949.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs 12:00 am, 27th July 1949

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he will now submit the dispute between his Department and Scottish Aviation Limited to a public inquiry regarding the proposed compulsory acquisition of Prestwick Airport by his Department.

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

No, Sir. This firm and another interested party have been given the opportunity to state their objections before an independent person appointed for the purpose, whose report has now been received and is under consideration.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the spokesman of the Ministry was not allowed to be cross-examined by the counsel for the company? Is he aware that this is not a small local affair, but is an issue which concerns the whole of Scotland, since this company was a pioneer of civil aviation in Scotland. Will he not take some steps to deal with the matter properly?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

All the interested parties in Scotland were quite satisfied with the exception of a vested interest—Scottish Aviation.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Could the Minister give an idea how much money has been spent by this company and how much by the State?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

Most of the buildings and the machinery used at the present time at Prestwick by Scottish Aviation are owned by the Crown. The company has paid no rent for four years and, as the day of reckoning approaches, every delaying tactic possible is used, and this is one of them.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

What does the Parliamentary Secretary mean by the expression "vested interest"?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

Perhaps a better term would be a "personal interest" as against a public interest.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Tradeston

In view of the fact that Scottish Aviation have been using the buildings and machinery at Prestwick Airport without paying any rent for nearly four years, will those factors be taken into consideration in any final settlement which is reached?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

Yes, Sir, but in fairness I ought to say that the reason for the non-payment of rent is that there has been argument the whole time as between what Scottish Aviation thinks is a fair rent and what the Crown thinks is a fair rent.