HC Deb 18 November 1964 vol 702 cc411-2
4. Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Aviation what he estimates would be the cost to public funds of making adequate grants for sound proofing of rooms, imposing a jet ban for a few hours at night and reducing the permitted level of noise at London Airport checkpoints.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. John Stone-house)

I am at present considering various measures for limiting the disturbance to residents around London (Heathrow) Airport. Until these ideas have been worked out I could not say what if any cost to public funds would be involved.

Mr. Marten

Does not the hon. Member remember that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in a speech during the election gave an assurance that these things would be done? Does he mean that he gave the assurance without full consideration of the cost involved?

Mr. Stonehouse

I am well aware of the speech which the Prime Minister made on 1st October, but as the hon. Member knows only too well from his own recent experience, there are many factors which must be borne in mind.

Mr. A. Royle

Is the hon. Member aware that the Prime Minister gave a definite pledge at Isleworth on 1st October that he would ban all night jet flights into London Airport. Is he going to carry out this pledge, or is he going to abandon it?

Mr. Stonehouse

The whole question of night jets is under consideration and we hope to make a statement about it in a week or so, but I am sure that the House agrees that before we do this it is important that I should take an early opportunity of seeing the consultative committee and others directly concerned.

Mr. Maude

Is the hon. Member aware that the Wilson Committee gave some estimates of the probable cost of such things and that whereas it is normally desirable that election pledges should be costed before they are made, at least once they have been made it is about time that the Ministry started urgently to consider how they can be implemented?

Mr. Stonehouse

I have already given an undertaking to the House that these questions are under current consideration. I hope that very soon we can make a statement about it. I would say that I not only remember what the Wilson Committee said but I also remember that the Administration which the hon. Member supported turned down the idea of sound proofing point blank.

Mr. Royle

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply. I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.