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Airline Operators (Minor Offences)

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Aviation to what extent the decisions of his predecessor, that a navigator of an aircraft whose experience has not been properly established and is in breach of Regulation 44 of the Air Navigation General Regulations, and that failure to carry out engine repairs by persons qualified so to do in breach of the Regulations are regarded as minor offences, apply to all airline operators.

My right hon. Friend the then Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation referred to these infringements as "minor" in comparison with a charge of manslaughter.

Is it the case that this particular ruling depends on the degree of some other offence which might be committed? Is that the Minister's ruling?

All that I am saying is that one cannot take the word "minor" out of its context. Here the context was in comparison with a charge of manslaughter.

May I ask the Minister whether it is an offence or not and whether it is a major or minor offence irrespective of any other offence?

The hon. Gentleman knows that this particular case has been debated very fully, and I do not think that I can add to what I have said, namely, that when it is said that something is minor we must compare it with what it is minor to, and here it was a charge of manslaughter.