HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2669-70
29. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation why the recently published rates for B. O. A. C. traffic are 2½ times higher than those charged by U.S. airline companies over the past eight years and nearly double those charged by Scottish Airline, Limited, despite the difficulties placed in the way of the latter company in obtaining adequate petrol supplies.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Without accepting the validity of the ratios quoted by the hon. and gallant Member, in the absence of any indication of the particular British Overseas Airways Corporation rates to which he refers, I would point out that neither the Scottish Airline rate, nor the rates charged by American Airlines on internal services, which presumably form the basis of his comparison, are appropriate to the widely different conditions of operation of international services which British Overseas Airways Corporation operate. Fares on international services are now subject to international agreements, and the rates of the British Corporations on these services will be identical with those charged by foreign airlines operating on the same routes under such agreements.

Sir T. Moore

Obviously I cannot accept that answer, and I would ask the hon. Gentleman if he can give any ex planation of the apparent hostility of the Government to the development of Scottish Airlines? Furthermore, is he aware that this latest agreement, signed with Eire a few days ago, is regarded in Scotland as a national insult to the country?

Mr. Thomas

If it is so regarded, there is no foundation for it.

Mr. Willis

Is my hon. Friend aware that the proposed international rates between New York and Prestwick, New York and London, and New York and Rineanna show definitely that Prestwick is placed at a disadvantage as compared with Rineanna, when the rates are calculated on a fair mileage basis?

Mr. Thomas

My hon. Friend is only saying in another way that it takes rather longer to get to London via Prestwick than it does via Rineanna.

Sir T. Moore

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Would I be in Order in moving the immediate Adjournment of the House in order to bring to the notice of the House that there is no Minister in the Cabinet apparently speaking for Scotland?

Mr. speaker

Any Motion of this kind is in Order, but whether I could accept it or not is a different matter.

Sir T. Moore

In view of your apparent dislike of giving me permission on that point, Mr. Speaker, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment. I hope, by your good will, tomorrow.

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