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West African Air Mails

Volume 345: debated on Monday 20 March 1939

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38.

asked the Postmaster-General whether the air mail from Gambia is still carried in German aeroplanes; and what arrangements he is making for all air mails from British West Africa to be carried in British aeroplanes?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, air mail correspondence between this country and Nigeria and the Gold Coast, which represents about 90 per cent. of the total air mail correspondence to and from the West African Colonies, is already carried in British aircraft on the main Empire route between the United Kingdom and Khartoum, and by a British air service between Khartoum, Lagos and Accra. Air mail correspondence to and from Sierra Leone is carried by a British air service between Freetown and Bathurst, where is connects with the German service to and from Europe. When a direct British air service is available between the United Kingdom and West Africa it is the intention to use it for the carriage of first class mail on an "all-up" basis. As regards this proposed service I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 8th February by my hon. and gallant Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air to a question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hertford (Sir M. Sueter).

Does my right hon. and gallant Friend agree that all British mails for the British Colonies ought to be carried in British aeroplanes?

The difficulty is that we have to use a foreign service where there is not a British service available. I hope soon it will be done by British services.