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North Atlantic Weather Stations (Agreement)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1954

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asked the Undersecretary of State for Air whether he will now make a statement on the outcome of the Meteorological Conference recently held in Paris.

A copy of the new Agreement on North Atlantic Weather Stations which was the outcome of discussions held in Paris recently between representatives of the United Kingdom, led by Dr. O. G. Sutton, C.B.E., F.R.S., the Director of the Meteorological Office, and of 12 other countries, will be laid before the House in due courseThe new scheme will come into force when the present one ends at the end of June and will run initially for two years, although there is provision for it to be extended for further periods of one year at a time. It provides for nine weather stations in the North Atlantic instead of the present 10. The station to be cut out is, however, of relatively small concern to most countries and from our point of view the new network should be almost as satisfactory as the present one.We shall be operating the same number of vessels under the new Agreement, but, in common with other European operators, we shall be working them, rather harder than we have in the past.Our contribution to the new scheme will be relatively greater than that made by other European operators and in recognition of this we shall be receiving the highest proportion of the cash contributions made by those European States which do not operate vessels. This should amount to rather more than £72,000 a year.My noble Friend regards the new arrangements as a very satisfactory outcome to the discussions which have been taking place over the past year in the International Civil Aviation Organisation. They are based on the fullest measure of good will and co-operation among the participating countries.