HC Deb 13 February 1961 vol 634 cc925-6
32. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Aviation what steps are being taken to provide airport facilities in the North-East, additional to those as Woolsington airport.

Mr. Rippon

None that I am aware of, but the matter is one that I should expect the local authorities to consider in the first instance.

Mr. Willey

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that local authorities are considering this matter and that Sunderland Corporation is prepared to purchase Usworth Airfield from the Ministry? Will he use his good offices to expedite those negotiations?

Mr. Rippon

Usworth is an Air Ministry airfield and any question relating to it should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the hon. Member consult his right hon. Friend about this matter? Is he aware that for many years the local authorities have been considering the desirability of having an airfield in this part of the country? Is it not about time that airport facilities were provided not only for large numbers of businessmen but also for hon. Members?

Mr. Rippon

I am well aware of the local interest in this matter. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation met a delegation representative of local authorities in the area.