HC Deb 16 February 1955 vol 537 cc383-5
51. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what discussions he had with the interests concerned before deciding to withdraw safeguarding restrictions from Boldon Airport site.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am not sure what the hon. Member means by the interests concerned. I have in fact, had discussions both with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Corporation and with hon. Members.

Mr. Willey

Why has not the right hon. Gentleman discussed this with the North-East Airport Committee? Surely he knows that this committee met in December and decided to make inquiries. Without discussing the merits, is it not discourteous of him not to discuss this matter with the committee, which represents all the interests affected by his decision?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should much regret it if it were thought that I had behaved discourteously to anybody. I was not aware that this body wished to make representations in this matter, but of course if it wishes to do so, I am always at its disposal.

Mr. P. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that most people in the North-East are extremely pleased that finally a decision has been taken, and that most of them welcome the decision which has been taken?

Mr. D. Jones

In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has now decided to abandon any possibility of an international airport at Boldon, will he urge upon his right hon. Friend at the Treasury the need for giving Customs facilities at Greatham, and thus provide other facilities in the North-East?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer but I will not conceal from the hon. Gentleman that I am aware of the facts of this matter.

Mr. Willey

In view of the fact that the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) is misinformed, will the Minister get in touch with the North-East Airport Committee to see that discussions take place with the interests mainly affected?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I could not accept that my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) was misinformed on any subject, but, as I have said, if this body wishes to talk to me I am always available.

Mr. Ede

Will the right hon. Gentleman realise that Newcastle does not of necessity speak for the whole of the Tyneside?