HC Deb 07 July 1948 vol 453 cc349-51
11. Brigadier Rayner

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation how the cost of the administration of Civil Aviation and the losses of nationalised British airways during the last year for which figures are available compare with the average cost of Civil Aviation administration and Civil Aviation subsidies during the period 1929–39.

Mr. Lindgren

The subsidies and grants in the prewar period rose from £361,000 in 1929–30 to £1,339,000 in 1938–39. The total of the deficiency grant payable in respect of operations in 1946–47 amounted to about £10,320,000. Comparative figures of costs of administration of civil aviation are not available owing to the different scope of the field of Government responsibilities.

Brigadier Rayner

In view of that answer, would the Parliamentary Secretary kindly impress on his colleagues and on his constituency and mine that we cannot afford any more nationalisation for a very long time?

Mr. Rankin

Can the Parliamentary Secretary give a comparison of the aircraft, air ports, air terminals and the general navigational equipment of today with what were in use in the period referred to in the Question?

12. Brigadier Rayner

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what his plans are to ensure that the nationalised air undertakings will become self-supporting in due course; and by what date he estimates that this position will be achieved.

Mr. Lindgren

My noble Friend's whole policy is directed to ensuring that the three Corporations shall become self-supporting as soon as possible subject only to the requirements of National policy.

Brigadier Rayner

Will the Parliamentary Secretary ask his noble Friend to do his best to see that civil aviation becomes self-supporting before Marshall Aid runs out?

Mr. J. Lewis

Is the Parliamentary Secretary prepared to agree that the difficulties of making an air service self-supporting are almost insurmountable in view of the fact that no transport can be maintained without goods traffic, and that if the railways did not have goods traffic they would lose a much larger sum of money?