§ 40. Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is now in a position to make a further announcement on the question of the provision of air travel facilities for Members of Parliament?
§ Mr. COOPER
Yes, Sir. I am glad to be able to inform the hon. Member that a scheme has been drawn up in consultation with the Air Ministry under which hon. Members desirous of travelling by air will be asked to send in their names to the Fees Office. Where suitable arrangements can be made, such Members will be supplied, by the Fees Office, with a book of special warrants which will enable them on payment of the excess over the first-class rail fare to travel to and from their constituencies by certain approved air lines. I am circulating the particulars of the scheme in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The completion of the arrangements for putting the scheme into force will necessarily take time. Every endeavour will be made to complete them as rapidly as possible, and Members will be notified by the Fees Office as soon as facilities are available in each case.
§ Mr. MAINWARING
Could not the hon. Gentleman make approaches to the air-line companies to reduce their fares to the level of first-class railway fare?
§ Following are the particulars:
§ Arrangements for travelling by Air for Members of Parliament.
§ 1. Members of Parliament desirous of using the authorised air travel facilities will be asked to send in their names to the House of Commons Fees Office, at the same time indicating which air service or services they propose to use.
§ 2. A list of approved Air Services will be kept at the Fees Office and only such services as are included in that list will be recognised for the purpose of these arrangements. The list will be drawn up in consultation with the Air Ministry.
§ 3. Where suitable arrangements can be made, Members who have handed in their names will be supplied by the Fees Office with a book of special air warrants. The necessary air ticket will be obtainable by a Member on presentation at the air company's booking office of a warrant properly completed and on payment by him of the excess cost of the air journey over the cost of the corresponding first class rail journey.
§ 4. For the convenience of Members and the guidance of the air companies there will be shown on the front of the warrant book the Member's name and constituency and particulars of the railway fares (single and return) payable under the present arrangements.
§ 5. The air company will forward the warrant to the Fees Office and receive payment of the appropriate first class rail fare.
§ 6. Tickets issued by the air companies under these conditions will be stamped "M.P." and in the event of the return half of an air ticket not being used, it must be handed in at the Fees Office who will arrange for the refund of the appropriate amount by the company. The air companies will not be authorised to make refunds direct to Members.
§ 7. No warrant may be used by a Member and no payments will be made by the Fees Office in respect of air journeys made otherwise than in accordance with the above conditions. Any expense incurred in travelling to or from the airport must be borne by the Member.