Artillery Range (Pembrey)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1971.

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Photo of Mr Denzil Davies Mr Denzil Davies , Llanelli 12:00 am, 1st March 1971

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he proposes to have consultation with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for the Environment regarding the proposed establishment of a gunnery range at Pembrey.

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson , Bradford West

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will now make a further statement on the proposed establishment of an artillery range at Royal Air Force, Pembrey; and whether he will now announce the findings of the Court of Inquiry into this proposal.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I am considering the inspector's report and, in accordance with normal practice in this type of case, I shall undertake such inter-departmental consultations as seem to me to be desirable. The Government's decision will be announced when the matter has been fully considered and the inspector's findings will be made public at the same time.

Photo of Mr Denzil Davies Mr Denzil Davies , Llanelli

While appreciating that the right hon. and learned Gentleman may want to consult his colleagues, may I ask whether he would give an assurance to this House that ultimately he will decide this matter on its merits and not be forced into a decision which may be adverse to the position of Pembrey as a result of any Government decision to locate the third London airport at Foulness?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I am glad to hear that the hon. Member now accepts that I may need to consult my colleagues. I do not know whether he has withdrawn the Motion of censure he put down by reason of the fact that I said that I intended to consult my colleagues. Certainly this application will be treated on its merits. I hope to give a decision very soon.

Photo of Mr Ifor Davies Mr Ifor Davies , Gower

Does the Secretary of State appreciate that the proposed gunnery range will affect not only Pembrey but also the Gower coast, and will he not allow this area to be discounted as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and will he, further, pay particular attention to evidence presented to his inspector on behalf of the people of Gower regarding this issue?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

Yes. I accept everything that the hon. Gentleman said and I will certainly pay particular attention to that evidence.