asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what number and type of civil aircraft engaged on trans-Atlantic operations are based at Baltimore; what is the number of air and ground personnel involved in these operations; and what is the cost of operation involving expenditure of American dollars.
Three flying boats of Boeing 314A type are employed by British Overseas Airways Corporation on trans-Atlantic operations and are based at Baltimore. I am informed by the Corporation that the flying staff employed numbers 85. It is not possible to state the number of ground staff directly employed on the operation of the flying boats throughout their route, but the number of all grades so employed at Baltimore is 305. The dollar expenditure on the operations is merged in the expenditure of the West Atlantic Regional Headquarters at Baltimore, and it would not be possible, without undue labour, to arrive at the dollar expenditure attributable to the operation of the flying boats.
As my information is that £480,000 is the cost of running these three flying boats, can the Minister give me an assurance that at an early date they will be based in this country, thereby saving dollar exchange?
I do not think that my hon. and gallant Friend's information can be correct, because I am assured the sum cannot easily be broken up. The other part of the supplementary question is a separate question, but I shall certainly be glad to look into it.