That for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to provide for the merger of the British South American Airways Corporation with the British Overseas Airways Corporation; to authorise the appointment of an additional deputy chairman of the British Overseas Airways Corporation; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise—
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ 10.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)
I shall not keep the House more than a minute, but I feel that someone on the Treasury Bench would wish to take advantage of this occasion to give a fuller explanation than was possible on the Committee stage. At this stage of the Resolution we cannot argue the point in any detail, but perhaps the Parliamentary 2094 Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation will be able to give more exact information on detailed figures than was given on the Committee stage. I quite realise that it is not fashionable today in Government circles to let the taxpayer know exactly what he will have to pay on such a Resolution as that before us. Time and time again we have seen various Members of the Government take refuge behind the plea that obviously they did not know how much would be spent.
Until a comparatively few years ago it was always assumed that, when the Government came to the House with an estimate of this sort, we should have some idea of the total amount which might be needed. It would be wrong on the part of this House if, in view of what we have been told by various Members of the Government, more particularly by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we did not scrutinise as closely as we can the various financial estimates. For that reason I am sure the Government would be only too pleased to give us fuller details than they were able to give on the Committee stage.
§ Question put, and agreed to.