HC Deb 05 July 1939 vol 349 cc1272-3
25. Mr. Perkins

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether there is any British air service between the islands in the West Indies.

Captain Balfour

There is at present no British inter-island service in the West Indies, but I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Rochester (Captain Plugge) on 11th May last, in which I informed him that a report on the position in regard to the institution of an inter-island service in the West Indies has been prepared by a technical officer of my Department, who has completed an investigation on the spot. This has been examined in consultation with the Colonial Office and detailed requirements for such a service are being drawn up. Steps have been taken to ascertain from local governments concerned certain information which I hope shortly to receive, and as soon as this is available a definite decision can be arrived at regarding the establishment of such a service.

Mr. Perkins

Are not the Dutch already running an air service to these islands? Why are we lagging behind the Dutch?

Sir Nairne Stewart Sandeman

Is it not the case that the airports in the West Indies are either owned or rented by the United States?

Captain Balfour

Not as regards the proposed air service we have in mind.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Is it not the case that certain Governments in the West Indies approached the Air Ministry about an air service more than a year ago?

Captain Balfour

That is a different question.

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