HC Deb 09 June 1943 vol 390 cc687-8
14. Mr. Thorneycroft

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that a number of municipalities who have spent large sums of public money on the development of airports are anxiously awaiting some pronouncement by the Government of its post-war civil aviation policy, and that it is essential in the interests of civil aviation that they should be in a position immediately the war ends, if not before, to proceed with further development so that they may be capable of dealing with all kinds of civil air traffic; and will he make a statement?

Sir A. Sinclair

Yes, Sir. Well developed airfields must be and will be made available both for our overseas and for our internal air services after the war. It is not possible, however, at this stage of the war to determine the position of particular airfields in the post-war organisation of civil air transport. Meanwhile, the technical problems involved are being closely and actively studied.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these air ports, particularly the two in Manchester, were provided at the request of the Air Ministry; that as £750,000 has already been spent on their development, and as in February of this year the Corporation submitted schemes to the Director-General involving a further expenditure of £250,000, they would like some pronouncement on this matter?

Sir A. Sinclair

I can assure the hon. Member that the documents to which he refers are being carefully studied

Mr. Ellis Smith

Can the right hon. Gentleman undertake that the rights of municipalities will be safeguarded in the development of civil aviation?

Sir A. Sinclair

I can assure my hon. Friend that we attach great importance to the co-operation of the local authorities.