§ 17. Mr. Galbraith
asked the Minister of Technology what tests he is carrying out to determine the effect of sonic boom on ancient buildings.
My Department, as I informed the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) on 19th November, has been conducting an investigation into the effects of sonic bangs on cathedrals. It is planned to extend this survey to include other buildings.—[Vol. 773, c. 266.]
§ Mr. Galbraith
Does the existence of this decision mean that the Government seriously intend to allow aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds across Britain? If so, has the right hon. Gentleman any idea how many flights will take place daily and how many people will be affected? If it is right to test buildings to see how they stand up to strain, what about testing people? What about having a test to see how right hon. and hon. Members stand up to it? Even better, what about a test to see how the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues stand up to it?
§ Mr. Benn
Whether we make supersonic airliners or not, someone will do so and some British Government will have to decide whether to allow them to fly over land. To help with that difficult 476 decision some tests are necessary involving buildings, and of course they must be public tests. This is why I held some early tests last year of a preliminary character.
§ Mr. Onslow
Will not the tests be more useful when we know what sort of boom the Concorde will make?