HC Deb 27 June 1951 vol 489 cc1366-7
36 and 37. Mr. Rankin

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (1) why the introduction of new aircraft on Scottish routes has been delayed;

(2) if he will state the reasons for the shortage of aircraft which led to the recent suspension or curtailment of Scottish air services.

Mr. Beswick

Shortage of raw materials and labour troubles experienced by the contractors have delayed the conversion of Dakotas to Pionair aircraft for use on the British European Airways Corporation's routes. The consequent general shortage of passenger capacity for their summer schedules forced the Corporation temporarily to curtail or suspend several services, including three in Scotland which have now been restored.

Mr. Rankin

My hon. Friend will recollect that we were promised that Marathons, Vikings and Ambassadors would be in operation a year ago to replace the out of date Rapides and Dakotas. Could he tell us who or what is causing the delay, and if any steps are being taken with regard to firms that default in the implementation of their contracts?

Mr. Beswick

I have already stated the reason for the delay in the case of the Pionairs aircraft. In regard to the other aircraft it is a different question.

Air Commodore Harvey

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that six Marathon aircraft are awaiting delivery at Blackbushe Airport. Is it not a fact that they are not being delivered because of a shortage of pilots, yet only three years ago B. E. A. C. were sacking pilots as redundant?

Mr. Beswick

I do not accept that statement. In the first place my answer referred to Pionair aircraft.