HC Deb 05 November 1947 vol 443 c1808
11. Mr. Awbery

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will give the reasons for the withdrawal of the scheduled air services between Bristol, Cardiff and Southampton; and if he will reconsider this decision and take the necessary measures to encourage and expand internal air travel on this route at reasonable charges, instead of restricting it.

Mr. Lindgren

A number of internal services, including these, which could only be operated at considerable financial loss, have recently been withdrawn or curtailed owing to the general economic situation, and the need for curtailing the financial losses involved.

Mr. Awbery

Is it not a fact that this service is of great importance to Cardiff, Bristol and Southampton, and instead of closing it, would it not be better to develop it in the interests of these three cities?

Mr. Lindgren

The seats occupied on the service between Bristol and Cardiff were 29 per cent. and between Bristol and Southampton 34 per cent. and in the circumstances it had to be dispensed with.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Will the Parliamentary Secretary give an opportunity to private air firms to run scheduled air services which the Government monopoly are either unable or unwilling to run?

Mr. Lindgren

That would be at variance with the Act unless they were as charters to the corporation.

Sir W. Wakefield

Will the Government amend the Act to enable the public to be served by private enterprise?