HC Deb 07 February 1968 vol 758 c400
14. Mr. Onslow

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he now expects to publish his revised proposals for the development of Stansted Airport.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The revised proposals for the development of Stansted were published in mid-January.

Mr. Onslow

Is it not the fact that the Government have now decided not to lay the necessary Orders before Parliament because they are afraid of being defeated in another place, if not in this House? Is it not also a fact that they intend to use the need to hold a local inquiry as a pretext for delay, and would it not be much more satisfactory in the circumstances now to have a proper inquiry into our whole national airport policy?

Mr. Mallalieu

The hon. Gentleman is wrong on all counts. The delay in laying the Order is simply so that we may consult the local authorities.

Mr. Boston

Does not my hon. Friend agree that it is rather extraordinary that the efforts of his Department and of the Ministry of Housing to be as helpful as possible by proposing this realignment should be greeted by yet another demand for yet another inquiry, and would he confirm the statement made in the House that there will be no more inquiries?

Mr. Mallalieu

I do think that it is odd. I confirm the statement.

Mr. Kirk

As the figures contained in the Minister's circular letter had to be corrected by an official of the Ministry of Housing within a fortnight of its being issued, and in view of the uncertainty this created all round, would it not be a good idea to have an inquiry to find out what the exact position is?

Mr. Mallalieu

I think we know the exact position.