HC Deb 04 July 1951 vol 489 cc2304-5
30. Mr. Rankin

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what rent is paid by Scottish Aviation Limited for government buildings and factories occupied by them at Prestwick Airport.

Mr. Beswick

The rent for the main Crown buildings and factory premises was fixed at £20,000 a year for the three years ended July, 1949, since when some buildings have been vacated. No rent has been paid under the agreement or since and similarly compensation rental for the aerodrome due by the State to the company has been withheld. A net settlement will be negotiated after the arbitration proceedings arising out of the compulsory purchase order. The company also occupies the airport hotel, but the payment for this is not expressed in terms of rent.

Mr. Rankin

Could my hon. Friend say to what extent, other than those mentioned, Scottish Aviation Limited are conducting business and other enterprises at the airport?

Mr. Beswick

As far as I know, there are no other enterprises at the airport which have a claim upon the Government. This seems to me a natural and normal arrangement to save accountancy between the two parties.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the hon. Gentleman say why the Government have not the enterprises at Prestwick which they promised many years ago?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Is it not the fact that this property still belongs to Scottish Aviation Limited, while its acquisition by the Government is still sub judice and under arbitration?

Mr. Beswick

A good deal of the property belongs to the Government who erected the property there in the first place. Some of it belongs to Scottish Aviation, and there is, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, a decision now that the State should take it over entirely.