HC Deb 19 December 1945 vol 417 c1320
18. Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many aerodromes have now become redundant owing to being no longer required for use by the R.A.F. and the U.S.A.F., respectively; what is the reason for the delay in derequisitioning such redundant aerodromes; and whether he will hasten their derequisitioning, both with a view to the restoration of the sites for agricultural use and also to the release of personnel now employed in their care and maintenance.

Mr. Strachey

We are no longer using some 110 airfields. Thirty-five of these have been or are being derequisitioned. We have made all the others available for use as storage depots, prisoner-of-war camps, Service accommodation, and so on. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture is arranging for as much land as possible to be used for farming both at these airfields, and at some 140 others which we are still using, but not for flying.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is there any reason why other storage accommodation should not be found and why these aerodromes should not be released? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a great part of the ground at aerodromes is taken up by concrete spaces which cannot be used for agriculture until the ground is derequisitioned and work has been done to clear it?

Mr. Strachey

The use of these aerodromes for storage accommodation usually frees from storage industrial premises which are urgently needed. Of course, the taking up of runways is a very big job.