HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 c1307
39. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the cost of, and labour involved in, the survey concerning backward-facing seats in aircraft being carried out by his Department; and when this will be completed.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Very small, Sir. I hope it will be completed by the end of July.

Miss Burton

Is the Minister aware that this survey is a complete waste of time and money? Is he further aware that this problem has been dragging on for ages, and that in Australia, for example, it has been decided to install rearward-facing seats in aircraft? When does the right hon. Gentleman intend to reach a decision on this matter?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not agree that the reaction of passengers to rearward-facing seats is a waste of time. It is important for the whole future of civil aviation, and before coming to any decision in this matter it is very proper indeed to obtain the reaction of passengers, particularly in view of the fact that restrictions might apply only to British and not to foreign aircraft.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware how very uncomfortable it is riding backward, and that if one is properly strapped in there is no advantage in riding backward at all? It is really a lot of nonsense.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The right hon. Gentleman's supplementary question brings out what I was about to say in reply to his hon. Friend, that there is no substantial body of agreement on this very difficult subject.