HC Deb 29 October 1947 vol 443 cc846-7
14. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation how many free passages have been granted by B.O.A.C. to members of their staff, or others; on what basis such free passages are allocated; and what is the aggregate cost to the taxpayer.

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

I am informed that the British Overseas Airways Corporation do not give free passages to members of the staff unless they are travelling on duty or on transfer. If, under the terms of the contract, wives and families of contract staff of the Corporation posted permanently to an overseas station are entitled to free transport, they are only carried by air if capacity permits without detriment to the commercial load. A small number of free passages is granted for publicity reasons where the Corporation consider that commercial benefit would result. Precise numbers of free passages granted to persons in the categories mentioned are not available but there is no appreciable loss of revenue producing traffic.

Sir W. Smithers

Why has no accurate account of free passages been kept? Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that under a system of nationalisation it is inevitable that nepotism and corruption creep in, to the consequent loss of the taxpayer? Will he take steps to crush this tendency on every possible occasion?

Mr. Lindgren

A record of free passages on every journey is kept, but in the time available to answer this Question it was not possible to get the information, as the record is not kept on a day-to-day basis and tabulated.

Sir W. Smithers

It ought to be.