HC Deb 26 January 1949 vol 460 cc905-6
20. Mr. Ward

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation how many aircraft, and of what types, are leased by his Department to B.O.A.C., B.E.A.C., B.S.A.A.C. and to private enterprise operators, respectively; what are the terms on which these aircraft are leased; and what loss is suffered as a result of these leases after taking into consideration the capital cost and depreciation.

Mr. Lindgren

British Overseas Airways Corporation's 18 Solents, of which 12 have been delivered, are on lease; terms of hire are now being negotiated. Sixteen aircraft of three types are leased to other operators; the terms vary; but are designed to cover the capital cost, together with interest on capital, spread over the normal life of the type. The capital costs incurred by my Department on these 16 aircraft are £584,000, and the sum receivable for hire in the current financial year is about £119,000. It would be undesirable to publish details of terms arranged with individual operators, and it is impossible to say, until the hire arrangements are terminated, whether any loss will be incurred.

Mr. Ward

Without having had time to think about those figures, it does seem—will the hon. Gentleman explain why it is?—that these aircraft which are leased have a capital cost of something like £400,000.

Mr. Lindgren

No, Sir. In round figures the capital cost is £500,000, and the annual hire charge is £100,000, which means that the capital is repaid in five years.

Sir Waldron Smithers

Who gives permission before this money is spent? Will the hon. Gentleman draw these figures to the attention of the Public Accounts Committee?

Mr. Lindgren

We are not spending money. We are earning it.