HC Deb 07 July 1948 vol 453 cc346-7
6. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that a number of high explosives and other bombs left over from the late war remain at Rackheath Aerodrome in Norfolk; that some of them have been the cause of a recent outbreak of fire and constitute a potential danger to the village; and if he will take steps to have the bombs removed or otherwise suitably dealt with.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

The recent fire at Rackheath Aerodrome was caused by a defective smoke bomb; all bombs of this type there have therefore been examined and defective ones are being destroyed. The stores of bombs now at Rackheath will be removed, either for dumping or to be put in permanent stores, as soon as possible, but I am afraid it will take a long time before the airfield is completely cleared. I will, however, examine the possibility of expediting the work at this station.

8. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Air what action is being taken to remove high explosive and incendiary bomb dumps from land which could be used to grow crops and timber; and meanwhile to guard these against fire and theft.

Mr. A. Henderson

Bombs are being steadily cleared from storage areas that are not needed permanently by the R.A.F.; priority is given to such tasks as the clearance of dangerous areas and the disposal of unserviceable and surplus bombs. Subject to certain safety regulations, agriculture is permitted at all airfields which are used for bomb storage. Strict precautions are taken against fire and theft.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman make inquiries about certain dumps on non-requisitioned agricultural land which are becoming the homes of a lot of vermin—[Laughter]—I said "a lot of vermin" and not "less than vermin"—and is he aware that a certain number of people are afraid of going out shooting because of these bombs.

Mr. Henderson

Certainly; if the hon. Gentleman will let me have particulars, I shall be glad to look into them.