§ 13. Mr. CHORLTON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what steps are being taken to bring the speed of the civil passenger aircraft flying under subsidy agreements with His Majesty's Government up to that of foreign competing aircraft?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Philip Sassoon)
The subsidy agreements with Imperial Airways contain provisions designed to ensure that their fleets keep abreast of developments in aeronautical design and performance. Taking into account all the various factors, such as safety, reliability, comfort and economy in operation, as well as speed, the results achieved by Imperial Airways compare very favourably with those of competing foreign lines: the company is, indeed, still attracting the great bulk of continental passenger traffic. The importance of the speed factor is, however, being borne prominently in mind and the company is now finding it possible to devote increased attention to it without sacrificing other factors on which the success of their services is equally dependent. Plans for the progressive acceleration of our Empire air services are also in hand.
§ Mr. CHORLTON
Does my right hon. Friend realise that the speed of our latest air liners is only half that of competitive liners of other concerns on the other side; and, if that be so, are the authorities really following out the policy which my right hon. Friend has just stated?
§ Sir P. SASSOON
My information is that the latest aircraft which will operate on the Singapore line will be very little slower than the fastest liner used on the Dutch line in the East.