HC Deb 03 March 1970 vol 797 cc262-3
Q6. Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Prime Minister whether he will transfer responsibility for dealing with noise nuisance caused by aircraft from the Board of Trade to the Department of Health and Social Security.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I would refer the hon. and learned Gentleman to what I said at Question Time on 17th February—[Vol. 796, c. 204–5.]

Mr. Bell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the widespread feeling that the Department of Health would be more single-minded in its pursuit of noise abatement than the Board of Trade, which is also responsible for the promotion of aviation? Is it not inevitable that for the Board of Trade noise abatement must always be a subsidiary consideration?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I do not think that that is a fair commentary on the activities of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. I have thought a great deal about this. It is right that the Department responsible for civil aviation should have the main responsibility here. It has a duty—as the hon. Gentleman will know, my right hon. Friend is considering what steps should now be taken—to make regulations about noise. In addition to the President of the Board of Trade, of course, the Minister of Technology is responsible for the experiments being carried out, some of which I have seen in progress at the Pyestock Research Establishment, for cutting down the noise of aero-engines in the process of manufacture.