HC Deb 30 November 1959 vol 614 cc860-1
32. Mr. Strauss

asked the Minister of Aviation what steps he is taking to bring about an agreed co-ordination of Commonwealth air services.

Mr. Sandys

Within the framework of inter-Governmental Agreements pooling and other arrangements for co-ordination are being operated between the British Overseas Airways Corporation and a number of Commonwealth airlines. These include the Australian Qantas Line, South African Airways and Ghana Airways; and also Central African Airways, East African Airways and Nigeria Airways. Similar arrangements were concluded last week with Trans-Canada Airlines and negotiations are going on at the moment with Air India.

Mr. Strauss

When the former Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation spoke a little time ago about developing a co-ordinated system with the Dominions, did he not mean something more than having passenger and other arrangements with the various companies or organisations running the airways now? Did he not mean in fact some big imaginative scheme, or did he mean the continuation of the present policy?

Mr. Sandys

I do not know, Sir. The right hon. Gentleman will exercise his imagination. I do not know, but I would have thought that the pooling arrangements went a very long way.

Mr. Farey-Jones

Will my right hon. Friend undertake to give his most serious consideration to calling, as early as possible in 1960, a Commonwealth air transport conference in London with a view to setting up a permanent council for air transport development in the Commonwealth on economic, cultural and educational grounds?

Mr. Sandys

I believe that at the right moment there would be an advantage in calling such a conference. What the precise agenda should be, I should like to leave open.