HC Deb 03 November 1948 vol 457 cc843-4
28. Mr. Edelman

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he has any statement to make concerning financial aid to flying clubs.

Mr. Lindgren

No, Sir.

Mr. Edelman

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the meantime at least one flying club has had to close down through lack of funds, and will he bring the matter to a successful conclusion by renewing the subsidy to the club?

Mr. Lindgren

I am aware that certain clubs have got into difficulties. As far as the latter part of the question is concerned, there is a desire to help and ways and means of helping are now under discussion with both the Air Ministry and the Treasury.

Mr. Jennings

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it would be far better and more valuable to spend money in this way than to lose the millions of pounds which are being lost today on civil aviation?

Mr. Ivor Thomas

If I may ask my hon. Friend to be a little more forthcoming in this matter, is it not strange that the State should not be willing to help those young men who are willing to give up their time and spend a considerable amount of money in training themselves?

Mr. Lindgren

The State is willing to help but there are considerable difficulties, in as much as there is a distinction between assisting young men to become pilots and assisting in the sport of the very rich who can afford to fly.

Mr. Rankin

If my hon. Friend has no statement to make now, can he say if he expects to be able to make any statement on this matter in the near future?

Mr. Lindgren

As soon as possible.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

In view of the nature of the answer, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.