HC Deb 09 July 1962 vol 662 cc951-2
12. Mr. K. Lewis

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will make a statement on the report he has received from the commissioner considering the appeal by British European Airways against the decisions of the Air Transport Licensing Board in respect of air routes being proposed for use by independent airlines.

13. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will now announce the decision of his commissioner upon the appeal by British European Airways against the decision of the Air Transport Licensing Board.

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend has not yet received the report of the commissioner appointed to hear these appeals. It is expected shortly. It will then be for him to decide the appeals, and he is well aware of the desirability of doing so as soon as possible.

Mr. Lewis

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that there has been quite a delay, and, as soon as he receives the report, will he in coming to his decision have regard to the fact that the independent airlines have pioneered throughout a very difficult period many routes and that they deserve much better treatment of this application than they have received previously from the hon. Gentleman's Ministry? Will he look at it with favour when it comes along?

Mr. Woodhouse

I shall certainly convey my hon. Friend's suggestion to my right hon. Friend. I cannot accept his remarks about delay. These things necessarily take a considerable time, but a large element in what my hon. Friend refers to as delay was due to the fact that the applications were in some cases put in several months before the regulations requiring these licences came into effect

Mr. Lee

Will the hon. Gentleman take it from me that to accept this application would not correspond, in the opinion of many millions of people in this country, with the statement of his hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. K. Lewis), who would consider it in the same relation to B.E.A. as the Eagle Cunard is to B.O.A.C.?

Mr. Woodhouse

I shall convey the hon. Gentleman's suggestion to my right hon. Friend also.

Mr. Burden

Will my hon. Friend realise that we are living in the jet age and that many of the matters under consideration by his Ministry appear to be dealt with as if we were still living in the days of sail? Will he do his utmost to speed up his decisions and those of his Ministry in these matters which are of vital importance and urgency?

Mr. Woodhouse

As I have already pointed out, this particular decision is not yet under consideration by my Ministry because we have not yet received the commissioner's report, but as soon as we do we shall see that a decision is reached with all possible speed.