HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1656-7
67. Sir G. Sinclair

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he will publish a White Paper on the control of aircraft noise.

Mr. Jay

I have taken note of the view, recently put forward by several hon. Members, that there is a need for the publication of more information on the facts and problems associated with the control of aircraft noise. I am still considering whether, and if so how, the information already available needs to be supplemented but it is not yet clear that a White Paper would be appropriate.

Sir G. Sinclair

Is not the Minister aware of the growing disquiet about the menace of aircraft noise in this country? Does he not think that it is his duty, as the Minister responsible for aircraft noise, to keep the House better informed, and to inform the country of what the Government are doing about it, and what they propose to do in the light of the international conference just held in London?

Mr. Jay

Yes. I have already made one speech about this in the House. I have discussed it with the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues at some length. We shall continue to give more information whenever we think it is reasonable to do so.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Further to the discussions to which my right hon. Friend has referred, does he intend to publish anything following them, or make any public statement? Does he intend to issue a White Paper, or will he consider the possibility of a public inquiry on this matter?

Mr. Jay

I have already said that I am not satisfied that we need a White Paper on every single point, and it may not be the most convenient form in this case.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that one of the factors in this is the safety of aircraft. Although a faster rate of climb may reduce noise, it brings aircraft nearer to the margin of safety. Would the right hon. Gentleman watch that aspect very carefully?

Mr. Jay

Yes, certainly. That is obviously one factor.

Mr. Onslow

Would the Minister agree that, if this important subject is to be intelligently debated, the public must have as much information as possible about all sides of it? Will he agree that there is a strong case for a conference on this and that there may be a strong case for the establishment of an airports consultative council so that local residents can know the facts?

Mr. Jay

We have just had one international conference. We have made a number of statements, and I propose to make more in due time.

Forward to