HC Deb 07 June 1939 vol 348 cc404-5
25. Mr. Perkins

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that the United Kingdom Post Office anticipate paying the German and French airlines during 1939, in respect of mails conveyed over the South Atlantic, the sum of £ 118,000; and whether he anticipates a British service over this route before 1943?

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the estimate to which my hon. Friend refers. In regard to the second part of the question, the provision of the necessary ground organisation (including construction of aerodromes and flying boat bases) is now being undertaken, but it is not proposed to institute a regular service until suitable British aircraft are available and a preliminary programme of experimental flights has been carried out. I am hopeful that these conditions will be satisfied so as to enable a regular service to commence by 1943.