asked the Minister of Civil Aviation whether he will give an assurance that in all future associate agreements between independent air operators and the corporations, the terms and conditions of employment of persons employed by the associates will be not less favourable than those contained in agreements negotiated through the machinery of the National Joint Council for Civil Air Transport, and that all pension rights will be transferable.
My hon. Friend is considering this important point as part of his general review of civil aviation policy.
Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that in any future arrangements that may be made pilots will be transferred with their pension rights?
I cannot give that assurance, but I can assure my hon. Friend that before any announcement is made of the new policy for civil aviation the Minister will consult the trade unions on the National Joint Council which are concerned.
Will the hon. Gentleman also bear in mind the necessity to safeguard wages and conditions of work in factories to which independent operators sub-contract the maintenance and repair of their aircraft?
That seems to me to be rather another question.
asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if he has now concluded his review of civil air service policy.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that tomorrow the bus service recently run under the control of the nationalised service in Scotland passes into the hands of private enterprise? Can he tell us what effect this will have with regard to the displacement of the men already in the service, and if jobs are assured to them under the private enterprise company that is now taking over this nationalised service?
I find it a little difficult to connect the hon. Member's supplementary with the review of civil aviation policy which is now under discussion.
Surely all the services associated with the nationalised air transport system are part and parcel of the review of civil air policy now taking place. Can the hon. Gentleman say if there is to be a basic change and if the nationalised aircraft are to be passed over to the hands of private enterprise?
I cannot anticipate the statement that my hon. Friend will make in due course on the general question of aircraft transport policy.
The hon. Gentleman has said that the trade unions will be consulted before his hon. Friend introduces any new policy. Can he give an assurance that the House will have the opportunity of discussing this matter before the Government finally make up their minds on any definite new policy?
That, I think, is a matter for the Leader of the House.
Can the hon. Gentleman tell us how he defines "in due course"? When can we expect a statement on civil air policy?
As soon as a satisfactory statement can be made. My hon. Friend the Minister is well aware of the importance of making a statement on this matter, which is complicated and important, at the earliest possible moment.
On a point of order. While we have been getting these assurances changes are taking place.
On a point of order. Should there not be some penalty, Mr. Speaker, when an hon. Member claims audience by using the words "point of order" when he is not raising a point of order?
Points of order are, of course, very useful to the Chair when they are points of order, but if they are not points of order, it really is abusing the Rules of the House to get in debating points.