HC Deb 07 December 1949 vol 470 c1846
2. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what was the cost of the recent inquiry into the loss of the Dutch air liner at Prestwick.

Mr. Lindgren

The total cost to the Exchequer was approximately £3,400.

Mr. Hughes

Could my hon. Friend say how much of this £3,400 was spent on legal fees, and give details?

Mr. Lindgren

Roughly, £1,000 was for the transcript of the evidence and £2,000 was for lawyers' fees.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

If two-thirds of the money was spent on lawyers' fees why was not the legal conclusion of the inquiry accepted?

Mr. Lindgren

It only shows the effectiveness of the lawyers' trade union.

Mr. Rankin

Could my hon. Friend say whether the £3,400 covers the 10 days that the inquiry lasted, or the time involved in preparing the report? Further, how many lawyers were paid out of this money?

Mr. Lindgren

I could not answer the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary without notice, but the President of the court received 20 guineas a day while the court was sitting and 20 guineas for his report.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

May I ask a more appropriate question? What was the cost of the prestige lost by the Government through their inept handling of this report?

Mr. Speaker

That is a different question altogether.