§ 13. Mr. Marten
asked the Minister of Overseas Development when it is proposed to start work on the new airfield in the British Virgin Islands.
§ Mr. Marten
While I am glad to hear that news, may I ask the hon. Gentleman to give an assurance that the foundations will be sufficiently strong for the airfield to be extended to take really big aircraft at a later stage? Will the money come out of the special C.D. and W. grant?
§ Mr. Oram
The Royal Engineers did a feasibility study on this project and I have no doubt that they took into account the sort of point mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. On the financial side, this is still a matter for discussion between my Department and the Commonwealth Office; but I assure him that there will be no difficulty in the provision of finance for this project.
§ Mr. Rankin
Since I take it that this airfield is meant to contribute to the development of the Virgin Islands, may I ask whether it will be used solely for civil purposes?
§ Mr. Braine
Since the Chief Minister there recently said that the Government are failing to understand and meet the needs of this small territory, and since he complained that no British Minister had been there, can the hon. Gentleman say if there is any proposal for a Minister or senior official of his Department 1227 of the Commonwealth Office to visit this territory?