HC Deb 28 April 1964 vol 694 cc176-7
3. Mr. H. Clark

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies if he will hold consultations with the other Ministers concerned on the desirability of building an aerodrome on the Seychelles.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Clark

Could my hon. Friend go a little farther than that reply and give us some hope that an air base will be built on the Seychelles both for the advantage of the inhabitants of those islands and for strategic reasons?

Mr. Sandys

Yes, Sir. Strategic reasons are not, I think, very strong, but we are, of course, examining the possibility of providing an airfield so that there can be a civil service between the mainland and the Seychelles. The distance, however, is about 1,000 miles which limits the type of aeroplane that can be used, and it is also quite difficult to run an economic service in that area.

Mr. Brockway

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there will be any consultations with the East African Governments on this matter?

Mr. Sandys

I do not think that we have got as far as that.

Mr. F. Harris

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that this is a subject above all for the Seychelles, which many of us, frankly, have been advocating for many years?

Mr. Sandys

I realise the advantage of an airfield.

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