Those for and against the proposed scheduled service of Concorde flights to United States airports, presented their cases to Transportation Secretary, William Coleman, in Washington on Monday (5 January).
GV & SV INT Audience seated in front of Secretary of Transportation on platform (3 shots)
CU Mr. Coleman speaking
SOUND IN: "This decision...
CU English bishop speaking
SOUND IN: "The noise can....
OUT: Houses shudder."
CU Sen. Barry Goldwater speaking
SOUND IN: "Mr. Secretary, in...
OUT: ...do that."
CU Goldwater listens to question from Secretary before answering
SOUND IN (COLEMAN) "One thing....
OUT (GOLDWATER)....sonic boom entirely."
GV Hearing continuing
MR. COLEMAN: "This decision will not be an easy one to make. Not only are the issues involved complex, but because of various interpretations of information made public over the past month, the emotional responses both ways have developed which could cloud and distort judgement. The Concorde controversy causes me to recall Mr. Justice Homes' observation that every years, if not every day, we have to wager our salvation upon some prophesy based on imperfect knowledge. To some, the Concordo is perceived to embody the latest aviation technology, expanding man's ability to move quickly from one place to another,........speeding communications and commerce to the benefit of all and any decision contrary represents merely American pique that it is foreign made. To others the prophecy pretends disaster for the environment, and the economic well-being of U.S., French and British air carriers. And thus any decision in favour would reduce to a significant degree man's ability to enjoy his world and the benefits already achieved."
REV. MONTEFIORE: "The noise can be unbearable. It can be above the threshold of pain. it might damage the hearing of the partially deaf if they are using amplifiers. No sensible mother would feel happy about leaving her baby in a pram in the garden in the neighbourhood of Heathrow while these Concordes are passing. I have actually heard a housewife speak of the outrage that she felt. It terrified me, she said. Houses shudder."
SENATOR GOLDWATER: "Mr. Secretary, in all my experience, I have never known so much misinformation being put out on any one subject as the supersonic transport plane. The SST is charged with doing everything but causing ingrowing toe nails, and I'll be surprised if the misinformers do not find a way to do that."
MR. COLEMAN: "One thing I would like to ask you, if you would, in your view, I take it, that you feel that the Concorde is an advance in present day technology in the aviation field?"
SEN. GOLDWATER: "Yes, very decidedly, in fact so much so that even though we have strong opposition in the Senate, foolish opposition I might say, we are continuing to do some research with private firms and Government funds and supersonic wing developments, engines and so forth and all of this redounds to the benefit of general aviation. We hope some day, and we're getting closer, we hope some day to eliminate the sonic boom entirely."
AUDIENCE SEATED IN FRONT OF SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: COLEMAN SPEAKING: MONTEFIORE SPEAKING: GOLDWATER SPEAKING AND LISTENING: AUDIENCE SHOTS.
Initials BB/2005 DE/MR/BB/2030
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Those for and against the proposed scheduled service of Concorde flights to United States airports, presented their cases to Transportation Secretary, William Coleman, in Washington on Monday (5 January).
Sixty speakers spoke during the hearing, which was the climax of more than a year of investigations by the Federal Government on the possible environmental impact of the supersonic aircraft. Mr. Coleman, will decide whether the Concorde will be allowed to land in his country.
The most compelling argument against Concorde concerned noise. Its defenders said that it was not so noisy as many subsonic aircraft and that the small number of flights involved would make no appreciable difference.
Its opponents, notably the Environmental Protection Agency, said this was not so and made the point that its builders hoped British Airways and Air France would be so successful that other airlines would want to start Concorde services.
Both France and Britain sent Ministers to present the case for allowing Concorde flights. A delegation of Concorde's opponents from England also attended the meeting and one of them, the Bishop of Kingston upon Thames, the Right Reverend Hugh Montefiore, delivered a strong attack on the aircraft's noise levels at Heathrow.
One of the Concorde's supporters at the hearing was Senator Barry Goldwater. He said he had never known of so much misinformation put out on any one subject as on the supersonic transport plane.
(This film is serviced with sound extracts from speeches by the United States Secretary of Transportation, Mr. William Coleman, Senator Barry Goldwater and the Right Rev. Hugh Montefiore. A transcript of all three speeches follows.)