HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc385-6
16. Captain P. Macdonald

asked the Secretary of State for Air what progress has been made with the survey of the route for an air service connecting up the various West Indian islands; whether any other countries have plans for the provision of such a service; and whether he can make any statement as to when he anticipates it will be possible to provide such a British service?

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

The possibilities of establishing an inter-island service in the West Indies have recently been investigated by an officer of my Department, and will be considered as soon as that officer's report is available. Pending this consideration it would be premature to give any date for the commencement of any projected service. Communication between some of the islands is at present provided along certain main trunk routes passing the West Indies, but I am not aware of plans by other countries for the provision of an inter-island service.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Is it not the case that the Governors of the West Indian islands have been pressing for the establishment of a West Indian air service since 1926 and that all that happened was that in 1935 K.L.M. and Pan-American Airways were asked to establish services?

Captain Balfour

K.L.M. and Pan-American Airways have not been asked to establish inter-island services, and the latest views of the Governors on the subject will be available when we receive the report on the subject, which I hope will be very shortly.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

It is suggested that they have been pressing since 1926.

Sir Nairne Stewart Sandeman

Is it not a fact that the air ports in the West Indian Colonies are all rented to the Pan-American Airways?