HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 cc833-5
Q8. Mr. A. Royle

asked the Prime Minister which Department has responsibility for answering Questions dealing with aircraft noise.

The Prime Minister

Questions about noise from operational Service aircraft, including those of visiting Forces, are for the Ministry of Defence; Questions about noise from all other aircraft are for the Ministry of Aviation. All Questions about research and development aimed at reducing noise of aircraft should be addressed to the Ministry of Aviation.

Mr. Royle

Yes, but in view of the election promise made by the right hon. Gentleman in a speech at Isleworth on 1st October, will he give instructions to the Minister of Aviation to carry out the right hon. Gentleman's pledge, namely, to ban jet night flights into London Airport?

The Prime Minister

All questions of noise are to be studied by my right hon. Friend. I think the hon. Gentleman has given us a rather free translation of what I actually said at Isleworth in that debate.

Mr. Maude

In that case may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he wishes to dispute the accuracy of the Daily Telegraph report of his speech? He said that noise near London Airport—[HON. MEMBERS: "You cannot do that."]

Mr. Speaker

Order. A Minister cannot be responsible for accepting or contradicting a newspaper report for which he is not responsible.

Mr. Maude

All I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman is whether he in fact intends not only to ban jet flights into London Airport but to provide Government grants for the sound-proofing of all houses near airports where noise is caused?

The Prime Minister

The Question asks which Department is responsible. It does not raise questions of policy. Of course, we shall deal with questions of policy in due course. Since the hon. Gentleman is so assiduous in his study of newspaper reports, I would refer him to the report in the Financial Times.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The right hon. Gentleman said that my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Mr. A. Royle) was inaccurate. Can he tell us what he did say in his speech?

The Prime Minister

Yes, if the right hon. Gentleman puts down a Question.

Sir A. Douglas-Home

But is the right hon. Gentleman now aware of what he said?

The Prime Minister

Yes, but it would be out of order to answer on this Question.

Sir D. Walker-Smith

Further to the suggestion by the right hon. Gentleman, is not it clearly stated in Erskine May that the Leader of the Opposition does not put down Questions on the Order Paper?

The Prime Minister

I did myself on a number of occasions, but I did not get very clear answers to some of them.