HC Deb 04 August 1943 vol 391 cc2278-9
23. Mr. Perkins

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is yet in a position to make a statement on the future of British air transport?

Sir A. Sinclair

The future of British civil air transport raises wide issues of Imperial and foreign policy. Consultations are going forward about these matters with His Majesty's Governments in the Dominions and with the Government of India, and we are awaiting replies to certain communications. Therefore, I cannot now make any further statement.

Mr. Perkins

Can my right hon. Friend give the House an assurance that he will make a full statement when the House reassembles after the Recess?

Sir A. Sinclair

I fully anticipate that when the House reassembles my hon. Friend will address a further Question to me, and I will then make the fullest answer I can.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not important that the Government should come to an early decision on this subject, which vitally affects the Mercantile Marine and involves other important issues?

Sir A. Sinclair

It is important that we should come to a decision, but our Government is not the only Government concerned.

Captain Peter Macdonald

Will my right hon. Friend also consult with the Colonial Governments, which are very much involved?

Sir A. Sinclair

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that my right hon. and gallant Friend the Colonial Secretary is taking an intimate part in these discussions.

Mr. Simmonds

Is it not a fact that some of the Dominions think that a conference on this subject is highly desirable? Does my right hon. Friend contemplate inviting them to a conference?

Sir A. Sinclair

That is exactly the type of question I cannot answer at this stage. I have said that certain communications have been made to certain Governments, and we are awaiting their answers. Pending the receipt of their answers, I cannot make a further statement.

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