HC Deb 18 July 1956 vol 556 cc1205-6
18. Mr. W. R. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware that members of the airport staffs have been utilising the facilities in the bars at the airports which were originally intended to meet the needs of air passengers only; and what steps he proposes to take in this matter.

32. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what instructions he has given with regard to the staff at London Airport enjoying the 24-hour drinking facilities provided at the airport under the Licensing (Airports) Act; and to what extent members of the staff employed at the airport are permitted to patronise the bar after the conventional licensing hours.

Mr. Profumo

The bars referred to are in the Customs bonded area, access to which is confined to passengers and to such staff as have occasion to go there in the course of their duties. Under general staff regulations, Government officials are forbidden to drink on duty, and I understand that most of the operating companies have a similar rule. When the 24-hour facilities came into force, all operators and other airport tenants were, however, specifically requested by the Commandant to instruct their staffs that there is to be no consumption of liquor at these bars, save in the most exceptional circumstances, and so far as I am aware the instruction is being complied with.

Mr. Williams

If what the Parliamentary Secretary has said is correct, why has the Air Commandant recently expressed serious annoyance that these facilities had quite obviously been available to the staff there?

Mr. Profumo

I cannot accept the hon. Gentleman's contention. It was not the Air Commandant who expressed that view. There has been a newspaper report to that effect, but I repeat that after investigation we are satisfied that there has been no contravention of the Minister's regulations, and further steps have been taken to ensure that that situation should continue in the future.