HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2572-3
66. Captain BENN

asked the Secretary of State for Air what are the international instruments governing the flight of civil aircraft over Germany; if copies are available; and what is the definition of civil machine, both as applied to British and German aircraft?


I assume that by international instruments the hon. and gallant member refers to conventions or agreements governing the flight of foreign civil aircraft into unoccupied Germany. On this supposition, the answers to the first and second parts of this question are that, so far as Great Britain is concerned, there is at present no permanent convention or agreement of this kind with Germany. Article 5 of the Air Navigation Convention of 1919, as it now stands, prevents the conclusion of any such agreement with a State which, like Germany, is not a party to the Convention. An amendment to this Article is under consideration by the contracting countries, but has not yet been ratified by all of them. The present flights of British aircraft into Germany are being carried out under a temporary and provisional arrangement, for which it is proposed to substitute a detailed air traffic agreement as soon as the amendment to the Article referred to above has been ratified.

As regards the last part of the question, a civil machine is defined, so far as British aircraft entering Germany are concerned, as one designed for commercial use only, and not of a military type. As regards German aircraft, civil machines must conform to certain rules laid down by the Allied Powers in regard to power, ceiling, speed, fuel capacity, useful load and other matters.