asked the Secretary of State for Air the functions of the Brabazon Committee which is considering new types of post-war civil aircraft; and the purpose of the previous Committee over which Lord Brabazon presided?
The functions of the earlier Committee, over which the Noble Lord, Lord Brabazon of Tara, presided, were referred to by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister in the course of the Debate on civil aviation on 1st June last. These were, in the main to recommend in broad outline, and confidentially, what new types of civil aircraft were required for the post-war period and what types of military aircraft could suitably be converted to meet civil needs when the war came to an end. The Committee worked with great expedition, and, as the House is aware, the firms to which the types were allotted are already engaged on the preliminary stages of the design work. When the labours of this Committee were concluded, the Noble Lord was good enough to accept the Chairmanship of another Committee, also advisory in character, whose task it is to prepare, with due regard to traffic needs and economy of operation, a list of requirements for each type in sufficient detail to enable design and development to proceed beyond the preliminary stage. The work of this Committee is thus an extension of that of the earlier Committee, and I am glad to say that equally good progress is being made.
Could my right hon. Friend tell the House who are the members of Lord Brabazon's current Committee?
I should like to consider that if my hon. Friend will give me notice.
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether there has now been adequate flying experience with the Avro-York air-liner for him to assess the value of this aircraft?
A final assessment of the merits of this aircraft is not yet possible. Experience to date suggests that it should give excellent service in the role for which it was designed.
asked the Secretary of State for Air what developments have taken place since the Air Transport Conference with the Dominions and India as regards the organisation of post-war air transport between Empire countries and other countries of the United Nations?
I can at the present time add nothing to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for East Fulham (Mr. Astor) on 27th October last.
In view of the long record of the delays of the Government in this matter, could my right hon. Friend at any rate assure the House that the Government have not become lukewarm about it?
Most decidedly; the Government are never lukewarm.
Could the right hon. Gentleman assure us that in view of the developments that are taking place in the United States in regard to post-war civil aviation we are watching our interests very closely?