HC Deb 13 July 1938 vol 338 cc1315-6
49. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether any progress has been made to establish by British Airways, Limited, the South Atlantic air-mail service?

Captain Balfour

Yes, Sir. A survey party organised by British Airways left England for South America on 11th June and is now, with the consent of the Governments concerned, examining all the operational factors affecting a mail and mail passenger air service on the South American section of the route between Natal and Buenos Aires. The survey is expected to take three months. In the meanwhile arrangements are being pressed forward for the establishment this year of the London—Lisbon service, and for its early extension to West Africa, where a detailed survey is now in progress. The necessary permissions for the passage of this service over foreign territory are being sought.

Mrs. Tate

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that when the present service was decided on those called on for tenders were told that the service must be flown in May, 1937? Might we therefore consider it a trifle overdue?

Captain Balfour

At the time when tenders were asked for, with a view to starting the service at some time considerably earlier than is considered likely to be the actual case, other matters of national importance were in a different state from that in which they are in to-day.