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Air Services (Australia And India)

Volume 235: debated on Wednesday 26 February 1930

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63.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when he now expects the establishment of an air mail service from this country to Australia; and whether arrangements have been made with the Netherlands Government for the use of the landing grounds, aerodromes and facilities for flying boats in the Dutch East Indies for this purpose?

As regards the first part of the question, I cannot as yet give a definite date. The answer to the second part is in the negative.

Are negotiations in progress with the Netherlands Government as to facilities?

There is no trouble anticipated in the negotiations with Holland, especially in view of the fact that the Dutch have had facilities from us at Singapore.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some hesitation is being experienced in granting facilities to the Dutch for further flights, and will the hon. Member look into the matter in view of possible reprisals?

There is a good deal of misapprehension in regard to this matter. The matter is under the jurisdiction of the Indian Government, and the Indian Government have simply said to the British as well as the Dutch that until meteorological, wireless and ground arrangements are complete, it is inadvisable to have these flights.

64.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why, in the Imperial Airways London-to-India air route, it is necessary to proceed to Athens by rail; when it is expected that the air route to India will be available by air throughout; what action is being taken; and whether there is any shortage of aircraft?

It having been found impossible up to the present to conclude with the Italian Government arrangements which were commercially satisfactory to Imperial Airways., Ltd., for the permanent operation of the air route to Athens via Genoa and Naples, the company have diverted the service for the present to a central European route. Until more experience has been gained of this new route, and in order to ensure as far as possible regularity in the arrival of mails, the company deemed it advisable during the winter months to send the mails by train between Cologne and Athens on the outward journey and between Athens and Paris on the return journey. The company hope to be in a position to carry out regular flights over this route in the spring. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.