HC Deb 23 November 1960 vol 630 cc1121-2
29. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will instruct the United Kingdom Ambassador in Washington to raise with the United States Government the question of that Government providing adequate compensation for British citizens who will be affected adversely by the agreement to establish a United States base on the Holy Loch.

Mr. Heath

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Surely the Government are concerned in protecting the interests of the people who live in this area? Is the Minister aware that there is considerable alarm in the area about the possibilities? Is he aware that the local authorities are asking urgent questions which are not being answered? If anybody suffers from radioactivity in this area, is he not to claim compensation from the American Government? What about the fishermen, whose interests are likely to be endangered? Does the Minister know that every time there is naval activity in the Clyde the fishermen's nets are torn up by mines? Does he intend to allow the Americans to come in without giving any satisfaction at all to the people who live in the area?

Mr. Heath

When the Prime Minister made the original announcement he said that arrangements were being made for consultation with local authorities. That will give them the opportunity to raise any matters of this kind. In general, any questions of this kind will be covered by the existing arrangements for forces in this country.

Mr. Manuel

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the local authorities are most dissatisfied? They had a consultation with certain Government or semi-Government people last week, I understand, with no satisfaction about the discharge of radioactive wastes and effluents? If local authorities are to have expense thrown upon them in keeping their areas clear—either the sewage systems or installations or the coastal waters adjacent to their shores—should not some compensation be given to them? Why are they not allowed to discuss the matters on this liaison committee which has been set up?

Mr. Heath

If local authorities have problems of that kind, I am sure that they will bring them to the notice of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government. We can then examine each of the problems which the local authorities have.

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