HC Deb 03 August 1922 vol 157 cc1650-1

asked the Secretary of State for Air what will be the effect of the redistribution of duties of the Air Council on the Department of Civil Aviation?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Captain Guest)

So far as Civil Aviation is concerned, the recent Order in Council redistributing the duties of the Air Council merely confirms the arrangement forecasted by me when introducing the Air Estimates, and actually in force for some months past. This is that Civil Aviation business is conducted by a Director of Civil Aviation, who is responsible to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. The Under-Secretary of State is, of course, like other members of the Air Council, generally responsible to me, but, as a Minister of the Crown, he can deal authoritatively with matters of Civil Aviation policy with the advice and executive assistance of the Director of Civil Aviation and his staff.

Captain Viscount CURZON

May I ask whether this means that something is really going to be done for civil aviation, and to save this industry for the country?

Captain GUEST

The industries of the country do not depend—

Viscount CURZON

I did not say "industries," but "to save this industry for the country."

Captain BENN

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether previously civil aviation was directly represented by its Chief on the Air Council?

Captain GUEST

Yes, Sir, that is so. The appointment of the late Controller-General of Civil Aviation was peculiar to himself about three and a-half years ago, and was not necessarily regarded as a precedent.