HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 cc2162-3

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Professor SAVORY.

No. 105. To ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he has any statement to make with regard to meeting the needs of Northern Ireland in respect of civil aviation.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Mr. Ivor Thomas)

My Noble Friend recently discussed with Sir Rowland Nugent, the Minister of Commerce, matters affecting civil aviation in Northern Ireland, in order to decide how her interests and needs in regard to air services could best be met. As a result of these discussions, and in agreement with Sir Rowland Nugent and the Chairman-designate of the future British European Airways Corporation, Sir Harold Hartley, it has been decided, when the Civil Aviation Bill becomes law, to establish a Northern Ireland Advisory Committee, which will be appointed under the terms of Clause 3 of the Bill. After consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Commerce for Northern Ireland, my Noble Friend also proposes, with the full agreement of Sir Harold Hartley, that the Chairman of the Advisory Committees for Scotland and Northern Ireland should be appointed to seats on the British European Airways Corporation. I take this opportunity of adding that it is my Noble Friend's intention that Northern Ireland shall be given air services and aerodromes in every way commensurate with the needs of her business community and of her travelling public. Her geographical position renders such services of vital importance to Northern Ireland, and, indeed, to ourselves.

Professor Savory

While expressing my deep gratitude to my hon. Friend, may I ask him to make it quite clear whether there is going to be representation of Ulster on the joint board of the company of Eire and Great Britain, on which Eire has a 60 per cent, control?

Mr. Thomas

I did not understand that the Question raised that point. I think that would be looking for trouble.

Mr. Edgar Granville

May I ask the hon. Gentleman, as he has referred to the Chairman of the Scottish Advisory Council, whether that means that he will consult the Secretary of State for Scotland on that appointment?

Mr. Thomas

That would naturally be the case.

Sir T. Moore

Can the Minister say if the advice to be tendered by these advisory councils will be acceptable?

Mr. Thomas

Full attention will be paid to it.