1. Mr. Terlezki
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many passengers were handled at Cardiff-Wales airport in (a) 1979 and (b) 1983.
§ The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Nicholas Edwards)
The number of passengers handled at Cardiff-Wales airport has increased from 260,553 in 1979 to 385,064 in 1983—an increase of almost 48 per cent.
I know that it is not the custom of the House, Mr. Speaker, to pay formal tribute to Members who have died, but Ioan Evans had a question on the Order Paper for today and took part vigorously in the debate on Welsh affairs last week. I hope, therefore, that I shall not be out of order in saying what a shock the news of his death at the weekend was for all of us. He had a Welsh way with words, he was always good natured and cheerful, he was immensely hard working and I know that he looked after his constituents very well. He will be missed in all parts of the House.
First, I associate myself with my right hon. Friend's expression of sorrow.
I thank my right hon. Friend for his encouraging answer to my question and congratulate him on his success in helping to secure redevelopment of the Cardiff Bute dock area as well as helping to obtain a freeport in Cardiff. Does he envisage that the sky over Cardiff airport will be brighter and bluer now that a freeport is to be established in the Principality?
§ Mr. Edwards
The intention is to establish the freeport in the dock area of Cardiff, but we shall certainly consider the possibility of making the facilities available to air traffic using Cardiff airport.
§ Mr. Geraint Howells
I, too, was sorry to hear of the sudden death of Mr. Ioan Evans. He will be greatly missed in the House. He was loyal to this Chamber and will be 3 missed by colleagues on both sides. He will also be missed by many people in Wales. My sympathy goes to Mrs. Evans and the family.
§ Mr. Rhodes James
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the deep sadness at the death of Ioan Evans is not confined to Welsh Members of Parliament?
Does not the great success of the development of Cardiff-Wales airport and other municipal airports throw into question the Government's alleged policy of developing Stansted as an alternative airport for London?
§ Mr. Edwards
As my hon. Friend is well aware, the development of Stansted airport is not a matter for me.
§ Mr. Wigley
On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I associate myself with the words of condolence that have been expressed at the very sad bereavement suffered by Mr. Ioan Evans' family. It came as a great shock to Members in all parts of the House, who had great respect for him. Indeed, when he closed the debate last Wednesday night we were remarking on the diligence and hard work that he had put into preparing for that debate. He was a diligent Member, especially at Question Time. I am sure that we all wish our feelings to be conveyed to his family.
§ Mr. Barry Jones
I thank the Secretary of State for his generous remarks regarding Mr. Ioan Evans. I take this opportunity, on behalf of my Opposition colleagues, to say that Ioan Evans was a superb parliamentarian who made one of his finest speeches only last Wednesday. He was a lion-hearted fighter for social justice and a dedicated fighter for the valleys of south east Wales.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. On behalf of myself and my deputies, I should like to say how closely we associate ourselves with what has been said about Mr. Ioan Evans.