HC Deb 28 February 1945 vol 408 c1361
18. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is now considering in detail which of the existing airfields it will be necessary to retain after the war for military or civil flying, and which will. be available for housing, agriculture and other ordinary public and private purposes; and if he will be able in the near future to communicate his decisions in this matter, if necessary under conditions of secrecy, to the local authorities and others concerned.

31. Mr. Edgar Granville

asked the Secretary of State for Air when he hopes to be in a position to make a statement with regard to the disposal and the future of airfields, particularly with reference to the future of agricultural development.

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

The use to which airfields will be put after the war is under active review by His Majesty's Government. As the hon. Members know, many Departments and many interests are concerned, not least the interests of the Royal Air Force itself, whose needs cannot yet be determined. I am unable at present to say when a statement will be made.

Mr. Driberg

With regard to the second part of Question 18, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that large parts of England, particularly East Anglia and Essex, are covered with airfields—far more than could possibly be needed permanently—and that it is very difficult for local authorities to get on with any planning?

Sir A. Sinclair

I can assure my hon. Friend that I will bear it in mind, and if at any time I fail to bear it in mind, I have colleagues who will very quickly remind me.

Mr. Molson

May I ask whether the Government have begun to consider the total strength of the Defence Forces that will have to be retained after the war.

Sir A. Sinclair

That lies behind this Question. Certain consideration is being given to it, but, in the meantime, we have to finish the present war.