HC Deb 31 March 1971 vol 814 cc1472-98
5. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now make a further statement on the Channel Tunnel.

The Minister for Transport Industries (Mr. John Peyton)

The French Minister of Transport visited London on 22nd March for talks on the Channel Tunnel project with representatives of the international private group. I will with permission circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the text of the communiqué.

Mr. Sheldon

Will the reply give any of the figures the right hon. Gentleman promised to give me if I put down a Written Question—but which I have not yet received? Will it include any possibilities of examining alternative methods of a Channel link, including a roadway? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that new studies are required going even further than that which he is prepared to have because, even if his Department has stood still in this matter over the last nine years, engineering technology has not?

Mr. Peyton

There is no disagreement between us here. There is no question of my Department having stood still for nine years. We are engaged on the first phase of the final studies which will produce the figures for which the hon. Gentleman has persistently and properly asked. As soon as they are available, I will make them available to the House.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that an early decision to go ahead with the Channel Tunnel would take a considerable load off the number of aircraft landings envisaged for the rest of the decade?

Mr. Peyton

My hon. Friend is right in pointing out that the tunnel is merely an alternative among the choices of ways of crossing the Channel. In future, there will be a greatly increased demand for facilities and the tunnel is, in my view, one of the tidy and acceptable alternatives—provided, of course, that the final studies turn out as we hope they will.

The text of the communiqué is as follows:

    1. c1474
  3. Thomas Cook & Son Limited 214 words
  4. c1475
  5. Empty Houses (Short-Term Accommodation) 137 words
  6. cc1475-6
  7. Peak District National Park 362 words
  8. cc1476-9
  9. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution 978 words
  10. cc1479-80
  11. Fleet Line (South-East London) 215 words
  12. cc1480-1
  13. House Building (Costs) 459 words
  14. cc1481-3
  15. London Commuter Services (Grant Aid) 520 words
  16. cc1483-4
  17. Private Tenants (Rent Rebates) 349 words
  18. cc1484-8
  19. House Building Programmes (London) 1,459 words
  20. c1489
  21. Trees (Preservation Orders) 236 words
  22. cc1489-90
  23. Transport System (Price Increases) 287 words
  24. cc1490-2
  25. Sports Facilities 418 words
  26. c1492
  27. Agrément Board 98 words
  28. c1492
  29. Building Research Station 175 words
  30. cc1493-4
  31. Joint Tyneside Sewerage Treatment and Disposal Scheme 523 words
  32. cc1494-5
  33. Central Housing Authority (London) 356 words
  34. cc1495-6
  35. Slum Clearance Programme (London) 411 words
  36. cc1496-7
  37. North Cross Route Motorway 233 words
  38. cc1497-8
  39. Rented Accommodation (Camden) 208 words
  40. c1498
  41. Hackney 105 words