Pembrey (Gunnery Range)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th March 1971.

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Photo of Mr Denzil Davies Mr Denzil Davies , Llanelli 12:00 am, 29th March 1971

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will now publish the report of the public inquiry into the proposal to locate the Shoeburyness Gunnery Range at Pembrey.

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson , Bradford West

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will announce the findings of the court of inquiry into the proposed establishment of an artillery range at Royal Air Force, Pembrey, before a decision is made on the question of a third London airport.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I have already indicated that the inspector's findings will be published when the matter has been fully considered.

Photo of Mr Denzil Davies Mr Denzil Davies , Llanelli

The right hon. Gentleman's reply is most disappointing. Does he not recollect that on St. David's Day, a month ago, he said that he would announce his decision very soon? Could he now say what is the reason for the delay, and, in particular, assure the House and the people of Wales that this delay is in no way caused by the deliberations which are now taking place on the location of a third London Airport?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

There are many factors which have to be taken into consideration, and one must give very careful and detailed consideration to this matter. One of the factors which the Government must take into account is the siting of the airport.

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson , Bradford West

Would the Secretary of State agree that, unless this decision is published before a choice is made about a site for the third London airport, people not only in Wales but in the country as a whole will think that skulduggery is afoot, since these are essentially separate issues and the question of amenity concerning the coastline in South-West Wales should not be muddled up with air traffic and air transport issues for the South-East of England?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I can assure my hon. Friend that there is no skulduggery afoot, but we have to take into account all the many important considerations. I hope to announce a decision as soon as possible.