HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc686-7
13. Mr. Simmonds

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that there are substantial reasons why the Hannibal Class of air-liner should not be restored to passenger services by the British Overseas Airways Corporation; and whether he will give an assurance that such restoration will not take place?

Sir S. Hoare

Apart from the fact that the Hannibal Class is obsolescent in type, I am not aware of any substantial reasons why aircraft of this class should not be utilised under present circumstances on passenger services. Certificates of air-worthiness are current for the three air-craft of this class which are still available for passenger services, and tests recently carried out by and on behalf of the British Overseas Airways Corporation disclosed no sign of fatigue in the materials. It has, however, been decided to divert these three aircraft to other uses not involving the carriage of passengers, and arrangements have been made to serve the route on which they were formerly employed by flying boats until such time as land planes of more recent design can be made available.

Mr. Simmonds

In view of the great importance of that decision, can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the decision will not be modified without his personal sanction?

Sir S. Hoare

Yes, Sir. I will give that undertaking.