HC Deb 11 March 1925 vol 181 cc1429-30

Order for Second Reading read.

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Samuel Hoare)

I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

This is a Bill to improve the aerodrome at Croydon, and the Bill is necessary for the purpose of diverting a road that now cuts across the aerodrome. Two years ago the Civil Aviation Advisory Board recommended that this action be taken. Since then we have had the unfortunate accident at Croydon, on Christmas Eve, and the report, on that accident, of Sir Arthur Colefax emphasised the recommendation of the Civil Aviation Advisory Board in favour of this improvement. The matter is one of great urgency. A Bill is necessary, as otherwise we cannot divert the part of the road which is known as Plough Lane. The Bill is a hybrid Bill, which means that when the House has given it a Second Reading it goes to a Select Committee, before which any objections from local residents or bodies can be effectively made. But I can assure the House that, so far as concerned the local authority in whose area the aerodrome is situated, there is likely to be no objection at all. Moreover, there are Clauses in the Bill for giving adequate compensation to owners, whether public or private, who may suffer by the divergence of the road. Without the Bill we cannot divert the road, and without diverting the road we cannot make Croydon aerodrome, which is the principal aerodrome of civil aviation in the Kingdom, as safe and as extensive as it should be for the traffic that uses it. I hope I have said enough to show to the House that this is a small Bill of an uncontroversial kind, that although it is small it is very important from the point of view of the safety of British flying, and I very much hope that the House will allow me to get the Second Reading this evening, with the knowledge in hon. Members' minds that, I shall move that it go to a Select Committee, where any details can be considered and any questions of compensation or of grievance can be properly weighed.

Ordered, That all Petitions against the Bill, presented Three clear days before the meeting of the Committee, be referred to the Committee; that the Petitioners praying to be heard by themselves, their Counsel, or Agents, be heard against the Bill, and Counsel heard in support of the Bill.

Ordered, That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers, and records

Ordered, That Three be the quorum."—[Sir S. Hoare.]