HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 cc155-6
50. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what decision he has made on the proposal of British Overseas Airways Corporation to buy 19 United States Douglas DC7C airliners.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No decision has yet been reached on this matter.

Mr. Rankin

Can the Minister tell us when a decision on this question is likely to be reached, in view of the fact that one-fifth of the planned capacity of the Corporation depended on the use of the Comets, which can no longer be utilised? Does he think it fair to the Corporation to hold up his decision, as the Corporation has to operate in a highly competitive market?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

All these considerations are, of course, very much in mind. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the aircraft referred to in the Question are aircraft which in any event are not immediately available.

Air Commodore Harvey

Can my right hon. Friend say why the request was not made last year, when the Corporation made a request for secondhand Constellations and Stratocruisers? Why has the Corporation suddenly thought of it?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Developments in respect of these aircraft have taken place since last year. I think it is perfectly legitimate for a different view to be taken now of the relative merits of the newer type as against the older one.