HC Deb 10 July 1964 vol 698 cc141-2W
Mr. Speir

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make arrangements for a Lightning aircraft to break the sound barrier over the Palace of Westminster at a height of 30,000 feet so that hon. Members may have an opportunity of judging for themselves what effect the frequent breaking of the sound barrier will have on the public, on livestock, and on the fabric of buildings.

Mr. Marten

There are difficulties in arranging this over the Palace of Westminster, but I shall be glad to arrange an exercise, at a suitable locality, after the Recess, to demonstrate sonic booms under controlled conditions; Members of the House could be invited to this.

Mr. Speir

asked the Minister of Aviation to which Department claims for compensation for damage caused by aircraft breaking the sound barrier should be submitted; and what is its address.

Mr. Marten

Claims should be submitted to the Ministry of Defence.

The address is:

Defence Department Claims Commission,

Claims 3,

York House,


London, W.C.2.

Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Minister of Aviation what information he has about the effect of supersonic explosions on fanning livestock, milk yields, egg production and aborted cows, and on the seriously sick and aged persons.

Mr. Marten

From time to time claims are received from farmers for compensation for damage to livestock, but only in a small number of cases has a definite connection been established between sonic booms and the damage claimed. I am hoping to conduct experimental work, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to gain further knowledge about effects on animals. Sick and aged persons may be more susceptible than the rest of the community to disturbance from any source, but we have no evidence that they are more affected by sonic booms than other disturbances.