HC Deb 21 January 1948 vol 446 cc177-9
2. Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what steps have been taken to remedy complaints made by passengers at Heathrow Airport with regard to lack of food, cigarettes, attention and general comfort and sanitary arrangements.

Mr. Lindgren

The departure waiting room has recently been considerably enlarged. Further waiting rooms, a new restaurant and more toilet facilities will be provided as soon as possible. But shortage of labour and material will not enable us to reach for some time the high standard of amenities at which we aim.

Sir J. Lucas

Surely matters like cold tea, the lack of cigarettes and the lack of seating accommodation could be remedied now? Could not those responsible be sent to Northolt to see what happens there and to copy Northolt?

Mr. Lindgren

The hon. Member was good enough to send me a cutting on which he based his question. I think this was an exceptional case, in which the supervisor did not arrive in the morning quite as early as he ought to have done. After all, we all miss the bus sometimes.

Mr. John Lewis

Is it not a fact that passengers who arrive by coach at the terminus are forced to re-embark in the coach to travel 100 yards to the aircraft? Will my hon. Friend look into that?

Mr. Lindgren

Yes, Sir. This is a Customs requirement, but I will look at it and see if it can be avoided.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

How does it come about that facilities at Northolt are so much better?

Mr. Lindgren

At Heathrow we started converting ground less than two years ago. Northolt has been an R.A.F. station for many years, and facilities already existed there, so that we had something in being on which to build.

10. Mr. W. Shepherd

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what consideration has been given to the servicing of Constellations at Heathrow; and what is the decision.

Mr. Lindgren

London Airport will be the maintenance base for Constellations when permanent hangars and workshops are completed.

Mr. Shepherd

How long are we to have an enormous number of dead miles flown by Constellations which come to this country from Canada?

Mr. Lindgren

The only dead flying is, in fact, from Filton to London. In regard to the maintenance of aircraft, one has to take into account the workshops in which the work will be done, and the housing accommodation of the workers. The workers of Filton are housed there, and it would be an unnecessary upheaval in their domestic lives if we were to bring them to London at the moment, quite apart from the non-availability of hangars.