HC Deb 12 May 1980 vol 984 cc830-1
25. Mr. Haselhurst

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress has been made in planning the enlargement of Stansted airport; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Tebbit

Planning the development of Stansted airport is a matter for the British Airports Authority, not my Department. On 22 April, the authority announced the boundaries of the proposed development and the measures which it is to take to relieve blight. The Department of the Environment has now initiated discussions with the BAA and the local planning authorities on the procedures to be adopted.

Mr. Haselhurst

Does my hon. Friend think that it is fair and reasonable that the British Airports Authority, with the power of the public purse behind it, should distribute to every home in my constituency a publication called "Development of Stansted Airport" which presents a one-sided version of events? Will he provide assistance to the organisations which have a different view so that they can circulate households in a similar fashion?

Mr. Tebbit

The Secretary of State has come to a conclusion which he announced to the House on the recommendations which we should make. It would seem distinctly odd if we were to give our help and support to undermining those proposals. What is more, I invite my hon. Friend to consider what our colleagues who represent constituencies near other potential sites would say if the Government reversed their position.