HC Deb 15 December 1948 vol 459 cc1197-8
35. Mr. Erroll

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will make a statement as to the directions he has issued to the three airways corporations to purchase their stores and requirements as far as possible in the sterling area.

Mr. Lindgren

My noble Friend has not considered it necessary to issue formal directions to the three airways corporations because he is satisfied that they are fully alive to the need for economy in the use of foreign exchange. and especially of hard currencies.

Mr. Erroll

Would the Parliamentary Secretary ask his noble Friend to look into this matter further, as there is a good deal of evidence accumulating to show that the corporations are not taking the care which they ought to take, particularly in regard to trading in dollar area countries?

Mr. Lindgren

My noble Friend takes a very keen interest personally in this matter. In addition, the corporations are subject to the same stringent regulation and control as any other commercial or trading undertaking. If the hon. Member has any information whatever to the contrary and he will bring it to us, it will receive the most definite inquiry.

Mr. Cooper

How does the Minister reconcile the answer he has just given with the fact that it has taken some of us more than two years to persuade his Department to persuade the corporations to change their bases from Canada to this country on the ground that their dollar expenditure has been excessive?

Mr. Lindgren

British ways are sometimes slow but they are very effective in the end.

Mr. Eden

Is the Minister creating an inter-departmental working party to look into this matter?

Mr. Lindgren

Not on this occasion.