HC Deb 03 April 1957 vol 568 c375
43. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the reasons for the delay at London Airport of consignments of daily and Sunday newspapers for the Middle East; and what steps he has taken to remove the difficulties.

Mr. Neave

I understand that the only newspapers for the Middle East which have recently been delayed at London Airport were those consigned to Cyprus: the delay was due to the temporary withdrawal of B. E. A. 's Viscounts for modification. I am glad to say that these aircraft are now operating normally, and the second part of the Question does not therefore arise.

Mr. Braine

Oh, but it does. Whilst I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his explanation, may I ask whether, in view of the dislocation that the withdrawal of these aircraft causes to the supply of newspapers, he could give some assurance that if a similar delay occurs in future steps might be taken to ensure an emergency airlift of newspapers to the area affected? [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Because newspapers are vital in a democratic society. Can my hon. Friend give some such assurance?

Mr. Neave

It is to be hoped that such an emergency will not arise again, but if it should, of course certain plans would have to be made.

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