HC Deb 26 November 1930 vol 245 cc1306-7
50. Mr. MANDER

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will state the present position with regard to the establishment of an air mail from this country to the Far East; whether the Indian Government are still refusing permission to Imperial Airways to operate the route from Karachi onwards over India; and, if so, what is the reason?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)

A weekly air service for the carriage of passengers, goods and mails between London and Karachi is already being operated by Imperial Airways, Limited, under an agreement with the Air Ministry. The company is also operating, under charter from the Government of India, an extension between Karachi and Delhi, as an Indian State air service. The Government of India are also providing a series of aerodromes between Calcutta and Victoria Point, but the route will not be ready for operation before the end of the year. The recent Imperial Conference has expressed the hope that an eastward extension of the regular weekly air service between England and India will be inaugurated as soon as possible. Imperial Airways, Limited have submitted tentative proposals to provide for a weekly air mail service between England and Australia via Calcutta, Rangoon and Singapore; these are at present under consideration. Proposals for the operation of an Indian State air service on the section between Karachi and Calcutta are understood to be under the consideration of the Government of India.


Why is the Government of India holding up this great scheme of Imperial development?


I am not prepared to accept the implication of the question. In any case, it will have to be put to the Secretary of State for India.


Do we understand the hon. Gentleman to say that the portion of the service from Karachi to Delhi is now in actual operation, that is to say that there is a weekly service?


I think it is more than a weekly service.