HC Deb 16 May 1956 vol 552 cc1997-8
43. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what plans have been submitted to him by the British European Airways Corporation for introducing a through service from London to Tel-Aviv.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. John Profumo)

None, Sir. I understand that British European Airways has several times reviewed the possibility of operating, in conjunction with Cyprus Airways, a through Viscount service between London and Tel-Aviv but that it does not consider the service would be commercially justified at present.

Mr. Robinson

Is it not extraordinary that about five other airlines of foreign countries have introduced direct services to Tel-Aviv within the last year or so? Will the Minister not be frank with the House and admit that it is political considerations which stand in our way? Is it not about time that the Arab States ceased to dictate the policy of our nationalised airlines?

Mr. Profumo

I cannot agree. I have already told the House that the decision has nothing to do with any political consideration whatever. The service ceased because B.O.A.C. did not have sufficient aircraft, and now B.E.A. is still short of Viscount aircraft. My right hon. Friend must leave it to the Corporations to decide on which routes to use their aircraft.