HC Deb 14 June 1939 vol 348 cc1285-6
28. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will secure another site for his purposes instead of encroaching upon the South-Eastern Counties of Scotland Sanatorium at East Fortune, which would become useless if the steps contemplated by his Department were taken?

Captain Balfour

Great difficulty has been experienced in finding sites for relief landing grounds required to supplement the main landing area of the Flying Training School at Gullane. The site to which the hon. Member refers is one of those under consideration by my Department, but no decision has been reached pending examination of the various issues involved, including that urged by the hon. Member.

Mr. Mathers

Is it not possible for the Minister to give a more favourable answer than that? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very strong feeling in the counties served by this sanatorium about the possibility of this sanatorium being rendered useless?

Captain Balfour

I regret that I cannot give a more positive answer than that which I have given to-day, but I will add that my right hon. Friend is aware of the point of view put by the hon. Member. On the other hand, the House will realise the great difficulty that we have in obtaining sites. This flying school cannot operate with maximum efficiency without two relief landing grounds, and so far we can find only two possible sites, one of which is this one. We are examining the situation and, as I told the hon. Member, his point of view is being taken full account of.

Mr. George Griffiths

Does not the hon. and gallant Gentleman know of the difficulty of local authorities in getting sites for sanatoriums? The Minister for Air will tell him, because he used to be Minister of Health.