HC Deb 09 February 1955 vol 536 c1882
25. Mr. R. Harris

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether the Convention on Damage Caused by Foreign Aircraft to Third Parties on the Surface agreed at Rome in October, 1952, Command Paper No. 8886, has yet been ratified by the United Kingdom Government; by how many governments of those countries whose aircraft use British airports it has been ratified; and which of those countries who have not ratified the Agreement are still allowed to send aircraft to British airports.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This Convention has not yet been ratified by Her Majesty's Government, nor by any country whose aircraft use United Kingdom airports. Rights to fly to this country are governed by bilateral agreements exchanging traffic rights and could not be made subject to adherence to this Convention.

Mr. Harris

Does this mean that the Convention will never come into operation?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not think so.

Mr. Beswick

Does not the Minister feel that the delay in ratification is becoming unreasonable? I had to explain that some complicated matters were involved, but ought those not to have been cleared up by now?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This is a matter for a number of countries. In the meanwhile, as I know the hon. Member is aware, operators of aircraft flying over the United Kingdom are already liable in law for any damage they cause, without proof of negligence.

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