HC Deb 24 June 1931 vol 254 cc425-7

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what preparations are being made for the survey of air-travel routes throughout the British Empire; and whether he will initiate a series of such surveys with a view to the consolidation of the means of air transport within the Empire?

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

The hon. and gallant Member may rest assured that the subject of Imperial air routes is kept in view as a comprehensive whole. Surveys of this nature necessarily entail cooperation between the parts of the Empire involved and, so far as the United Kingdom is concerned, are made when there is evidence that a new route has become practicable and desirable. The cost of carrying out a series of surveys in advance of a probable demand would not be justified.


Would it not be better to increase our endeavours, seeing that other countries are constantly carrying out surveys with a view-to establishing routes over our territories?


All the same, I think that the hon. and gallant Member knows that this year we shall be in advance of other countries as far as Imperial air routes are concerned.

24. Captain MACDONALD

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that the Indian Government have placed obstacles in the way of aircraft flying over Indian territory unless they are Indian machines with Indian pilots; and what steps he is taking to secure the uninterrupted development of air-routes throughout the British Empire?


I am unaware that the Indian Government have placed obstacles in the way of flight over Indian territory. In regard to air transport services, however, I understand it would be contrary to their policy to subsidise any company other than an Indian Company with rupee capital and Indian personnel. As regards the second part of the question my Noble Friend is fully alive to the importance of continuous development of air routes throughout the Empire and the policy of his Department is directed towards this end.


Has the attention of the hen. Member been called to a recent statement made by Mr. Scott that the Indian Government placed every obstacle in the way of establishing air routes between Australia and this country, and does he think that that statement is true?


I think that the question is one for the India Office rather than for me.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Has my hon. Friend seen the report in the "Times" to-day, that all expenditure on civil aviation in India is to be suspended, and is that true?


I have not seen the report in the "Times," but I will look it up and see if there is anything I need say to my hon. and gallant Friend.

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