HC Deb 12 February 1930 vol 235 cc412-3
66. Mr. T. LEWIS

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the number of local authorities that have established municipal aerodromes giving the names of such authorities; and the number of authorities that are considering the subject, giving the names of such authorities?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)

The answer to the first part of the question is that five local authorities—Blackpool, Bristol, Hull, Manchester and Nottingham—have established municipal aerodromes. As regards the second part, six authorities—Carlisle, Ipswich, Liverpool, Plymouth, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent—have purchased land for aerodromes; 11 other authorities are negotiating for the purchase of suitable sites and five more have reserved sites in their town planning schemes. In addition, 76 authorities have shown that they are actively interested in the establishment of aerodromes, and of these, 38 authorities have had sites inspected.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware if any authorities are experiencing difficulty in regard to the purchase of land owing to heavy costs; and, if so, will he take steps in the matter?


That is a matter for the municipalities themselves, but I will take a note of the hon. Member's question.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his Department is competing with municipalities who are trying to get land for housing schemes—in Glasgow, for instance, his Department is competing with the city for a piece of ground which his Department wants for an aerodrome —and what is he going to do about it?


I am not sure that I am prepared to admit the entire accuracy of the suggestions in that supplementary question.


There is no question about it. Is the hon. Gentleman not aware from the correspondence passing between his Department and the city of Glasgow, that they have been competing for this piece of ground which the city wants for other purposes; and, if he is not aware of that, what part of the business is he aware of?


I am aware of the fact that in matters of this kind there are considerations of whether sites are suitable or not, but the general implication in the hon. Member's question I am not prepared to accept.


Does not that question show the importance of getting these aerodromes established before the ground is required for housing?


Is it the policy of the Ministry to assist municipalities in making these aerodromes?


The policy of the Air Ministry is to assist the municipalities, and they are doing it as effectively as possible.