HC Deb 27 November 1946 vol 430 cc1593-4
24. Mr. Erroll

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation on how many occasions during the last four weeks scheduled flights between London and Paris, in both directions, have been delayed by more than one hour beyond their advertised starting times.

Mr. Lindgren

During the period from 25th October to 21st November, 15 scheduled flights from London to Paris and 16 scheduled flights from Paris to London were delayed by more than one hour beyond their advertised starting times. Cancelled flights between London and Paris were 23 in each direction.

Mr. George Ward

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the lack of confidence which is prevalent now on both sides of the Channel in respect to British airlines? It seems to be caused mainly by the lack of proper ground control at both ends, so that one never knows whether an aircraft will fly.

Mr. Lindgren

I hasten to assure the House that the assertion made by the hon Member is quite untrue.

Captain Snow

Always running down his own country.

Mr. Lindgren

The delays arise from very difficult weather, mainly fog, which has always been a weather condition interfering with all forms of transport, from foot to the air.

Mr. Erroll

While appreciating the difficulty connected with weather conditions, may I ask whether there is any excuse for the extremely peremptory notice of delays given to intending passengers by the officials of the air transport organisation?

Mr. Lindgren

Everything possible is done to avoid inconvenience, but perhaps it is true that in some cases the information is not given as quickly as it might have been, because in point of fact, the officials always hope that the aeroplane will be able to take off somewhere near to time.