§ 9. Mr. Hunter
asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) whether he will make public the report of the inquiry into the Vulcan bomber accident at London Airport;
(2) whether he will make a statement on the Vulcan bomber accident at London Airport.
§ 16. Mr. Skeffington
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will now make a statement on the Vulcan bomber accident at London Airport.
§ Mr. Hunter
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that great concern about this unfortunate accident is felt by the large residential population around London Airport? Although it may be contrary to previous decisions, I hope that he will publish the report of the inquiry to assure people that steps were taken to see that an accident like this will not occur again.
§ Mr. Skeffington
As well as the large local population to which my hon. Friend has referred, local authorities surrounding the airport are very alarmed about this accident and the possibilities which might have arisen if the crash had occurred outside the boundaries of the airfield. Those are very serious circumstances for those local authorities, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will have that in mind in preparing a statement and presenting it as soon as possible.
§ Mr. de Freitas
In view of the very long delay, does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is considerable ground for public anxiety about the efficiency of the present method of inquiry into these crashes?
§ Mr. Birch
No, I do not think so at all. In this case the Royal Air Force court of inquiry was convened on the day of the accident, and it reported three week after, which is far quicker than would have been the case with any civil inquiry. There are certain points about which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport wishes to inquire further before I make a statement.
Air Commodore Harvey
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that here was a case of a military aircraft landing at a civil airport and that that is where the public interest arises? In view of the number of foreign airlines operating from London Airport, there is wide interest in this matter. Will my right hon. Friend therefore make an exception and satisfy the people who are really concerned about it?