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Flying Boats

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1952

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asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if his attention has been drawn to the tenth Brancker Memorial lecture given on 11th February, 1952, which deplored the declining use of flying boats; and if he will make a statement on the future use of flying boats in this country.

Yes, Sir. The Airways Corporations' future plans are based wholly on landplane operations, but two private companies registered in this country have acquired some of the flying boats formerly operated by British Overseas Airways Corporation.

Is my hon. Friend aware that in many parts of the world, notably in the British Empire—for example, on the west coast of Canada—the coast line is particularly well suited to the operation of flying boats, though it is most unsuited to the preparation of landing grounds? Will my right hon. Friend bear that in mind?

Does the Minister appreciate that Britain leads preeminently in the science of building flying boats and that it would be a great tragedy if this country were to lose the art and prestige of doing so? Will he encourage the Department to see that use is made of flying boats?

The right hon. Gentleman will realise that some decisions were made on this question in the days of the last Government. I am examining those decisions very carefully indeed, because it is open to argument whether they were right.