HC Deb 07 November 1973 vol 863 cc990-1
39. Mr. Carter

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is now in a position to publish the findings of the recent investigation into the problems of the island of St. Helena.

Mr. Wood

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Middleton and Prest-wich (Mr. Haselhurst) on 5th November.—[Vol. 863, c. 67.]

Mr. Carter

I am aware of the contents of that reply. Will the Minister assure the House, however, that when the report is published a great deal of urgency will be attached to its findings? In advance of that report, will the Minister look at the problems that the island is now facing due to a long drought that is has suffered? This is causing a great deal of disturbance to the economy of the island and to the people and the live-stock alike.

Mr. Wood

I know the hon. Gentleman's interest in this matter. I know of the report that he made after his visit to the island. I hope very shortly to have a chance of talking to the Governor, both in the light of the development plan and in the light of the current needs of the island at present.

Mr. Farr

As my right hon. Friend will know, there is a good deal of concern about the position. Will he now give an undertaking that the airport will go ahead?

Mr. Wood

Yes, because this has been part of the study which the development adviser has been making in collaboration with two people from the Civil Aviation Authority. Therefore, it is one of the matters that will be taken into account.

Mr. Haselhurst

Can the Minister reassure us that the development adviser's report will be published and open to comment by Members of this House?

Mr. Wood


Back to