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Civil Aviation

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 6 August 1947

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Service, London—Cornwall


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation which airports will be used between London and Cornwall when the air service is started.

A service between London and Cornwall is not planned for the current year 1947–48, and the airports to be used when the service is introduced have not yet been decided.

Will the hon. Gentleman explain why it was possible before nationalisation to have a regular service between London and Cornwall? If the Government cannot do it now officially, why do they not give it on charter to private operators to run?

With great respect, that statement is inaccurate. There was no regular service between London and Cornwall prewar.

Croydon—Le Bourget


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what is the average flying time from Croydon to Le Bourget; what are the respective times for the transport of passengers from London to Croydon and from Le Bourget to Paris; and what steps he proposes to take to reduce the time of road transport from London to Croydon.

The average flying time from Croydon to Le Bourget is about 90 minutes, but there are no regular scheduled services now operating from Croydon. I have no detailed information about the transportation of the passengers to Croydon and from Le Bourget to Paris for which each operator is responsible.

Will my hon. Friend look into the question of a helicopter service between the airports and the cities in order to improve the overall time, which is out of all ratio to the flying time?

The general question of the transportation of passengers from a city centre to an airport is receiving constant attention.

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that what the hon. Member is probably trying to get at is to hurry up the period of non-flying time? Would it not be far better to hurry up the time taken up through the Customs, the inspection of visas and so on? That sort of thing takes about an hour.

In so far as the latter part is concerned, everything possible is being done, but I am certain that this House would require that the Customs, health and immigration officials should, do their work thoroughly for the protection of the general public.

Is my hon. Friend aware that I do not require any assistance from the other side in regard to my questions.

International Air Radio, Ltd (Board)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation who are the members of the Board of International Air Radio, Limited; to whom it is answerable; and to what extent does he take steps to ensure that it is organised in such a way as to ensure its most rapid development and successful operation.

The members of the Board of International Aeradio, Ltd. are as follow:

  • Sir Victor Tait, K.B.E., C.B —Chairman,
  • Major J. R. McCrindle, O.B.E., M.C.,
  • Mr. Whitney Straight, C.B.E. M.C., D.F.C.,
nominated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation;
  • Group-Captain Patrick Saward, O.B.E.,
  • Commander Vladimir Wolfson,
  • Group-Captain Patrick de Laszlo,
nominated by the British European Airways Corporation;
  • Captain Gordon Store,
  • nominated by the British South American Airways Corporation, and
  • Air-Commodore C. S. Cadell,
appointed by other members of the Board.

The members of the Board are answerable to the shareholders. The three British Airways Corporations hold 75 per cent. of the shares. The formation structure and objects of the Company were approved by my noble Friend, but its development and operation are primarily matters for the Board.

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the progress which has been made by this Board since it was set up, since the reports coming to me indicate that the progress to date is far from satisfactory?

No, Sir. In the first instance, the Secretary to the Board was a serving officer of the Royal Air Force. We had some difficulty in securing his release. Since his release, and the general establishment of the organisation, satisfactory progress has been made, but as this Corporation has to undertake negotiations with Dominion and foreign Governments, then, of course, matters are protracted.



asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether B.O.A.C. or any of its associated companies have yet established a service between the African mainland and Mauritius; what is the nature and frequency of the service; and when he expects a British service will be established.

Neither the British Overseas Airways Corporation nor any of their associated companies is operating a service between the African mainland and Mauritius. As to the last part of the Question, the possibility of the introduction of a service to Mauritius by the East African Airways Corporation is under examination.

Will the hon. Gentleman urge the African associates to give the most favourable consideration to the linking of this most important outpost of Empire by British airlines to the main arterial system?

Yes, but one of the considerations which has to be taken into account is that of traffic potential and that, in conjunction with other matters, is under discussion through the Colonial Office.