HC Deb 06 July 1938 vol 338 cc377-8
55. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can make a statement on the Government's policy with regard to the development of civil aviation?

Captain Balfour

The policy in regard to the development of civil aviation is to implement the recommendations of the Maybury Committee and such recommendations of the Cadman Committee as were approved by the Government, many of which have already been carried out. The Government do not, however, regard future developments as limited by those recommendations and, as announced by my right hon. Friend in the House on 18th May, some £100,000 of the increased subsidy will be made available for inland services. Further, the possibilities of making more extensive use of suitable civil aerodromes for Royal Air Force purposes are being actively examined. Consideration is being given to the question whether further assistance can be granted to light aeroplane and gliding clubs. New types of civil aircraft are being encouraged by grants to facilitate development and early production. The proposals of the Cadman Committee in regard to external services are in process of implementation.

Mr. Montague

What is the position at the present moment of the Junction Scheme in the report?

Captain Balfour

I should be glad if the hon. Gentleman would put down a specific question on that.

Mr. Garro Jones

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the directors of Imperial Airways invited Sir John Reith to conduct an investigation into what they termed charges made by the Cadman Report, and can he say how much of the time of the new managing-director is to be diverted to these matters?

Captain Balfour

That does not come within the scope of the question, which was for a statement of Government policy regarding civil aviation.

56. Mr. E. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether it is his intention to develop the air-mail services in this country and to develop the facilities for carrying by aircraft of parcels and freightage; and is it proposed to link up the provincial services with other parts of the world?

Captain Balfour

I understand that the policy of the Post Office as regards Internal Air Mail Services is to make use of any regular and reliable established air service for the conveyance of full rate letters and postcards without surcharge, provided that delivery is thereby accelerated and the cost is reasonable. As regards the carriage by aircraft of parcels, other than postal parcels, and of freightage the proposals already announced for the grant of a subsidy to air lines in this country together with the benefits of the system of licensing that is to be set up should enable the regular air services to develop their business in this direction as well as in regard to the carriage of passengers. The last part of the question is a matter primarily for arrangement between the companies concerned but my Department is always willing to assist with information or technical advice.

Mr. Smith

Do consultations take place between the Air Ministry and the Post Office authorities in regard to this matter, and, if not, will the Under-Secretary consider the need for such consultations?

Captain Balfour

I can assure my hon. Friend that consultations are constantly taking place between the Post Office and my Department.