HC Deb 09 October 1946 vol 427 cc167-8
6. Mr. Gammans

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he is aware of the public concern felt at the number of accidents to Dakota aircraft; and if he is in a position to make a statement on the subject.

Mr. Lindgren

The Dakota is a well-established type of transport aircraft which has been in extensive use throughout the world for many years. The accidents which have occurred in various parts of the world are rightly a matter for concern, but I am satisfied that the United Kingdom Corporations are justified in their confidence in this aircraft. So far as civil aviation is concerned, although there have been three accidents this year to Dakota aircraft operated by the United Kingdom Corporations, no passengers were killed but one passenger unfortunately broke a leg.

Mr. Gammans

Can the Parliamentary Secretary assure the House that we have enough spare parts for these aircraft, which are made in America, and can he say whether or not any report is to be issued by the Ministry on these accidents?

Mr. Lindgren

The latter part of the question does not arise, because there have not been the accidents. So far as the first part of the question is concerned, such supplies as are available are being obtained. They are not in supply to the extent that would be desired, but every possibility to secure what supplies are available is taken.

Mr. Bowles

Now that we have got back to peace will any inquiries in future into any civil aviation accidents for which any of the corporations are responsible, be held in public?

Mr. Lindgren

I should need notice of that question. There are Statutory Rules and Regulations governing them.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Will the Parliamentary Secretary try to come to some arrangement with the American Government to purchase some of the surplus Dakota aircraft stored at Carlisle, so that there will be sufficient spares to meet requirements?

Mr. Lindgren

That would not solve the matter altogether, but it is under active consideration by the Ministry of Supply in conjunction with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Mr. John Lewis

In cases where accidents have taken place shortly after take off, has my hon. Friend any evidence to substantiate the allegation that the accidents have been caused by overloading?

Mr. Lindgren

No, Sir.

Mr. Scollan

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the services in the various airports? My reason for asking is that I am not satisfied and I travel by air.

Mr. Lindgren

I hope that one will never be satisfied because perfection will perhaps never be reached, but everything possible is being done to secure as high a standard of maintenance as is humanly possible.