HC Deb 09 July 1962 vol 662 c954
15. Mr. Cronin

asked the Minister of Aviation what consideration he has given to harmonising British policy with regard to air traffic rights with the policies pursued by the Common Market countries.

Mr. Woodhouse

There does not yet exist a common policy of the Common Market countries on traffic rights, and aviation is at present excluded from the scope of the Treaty of Rome. The question does not, therefore at present arise, but my Department will watch future developments carefully.

Mr. Cronin

Is it not the case that, in practice, the Common Market countries very carefully and closely integrate their air traffic rights, whereas our system is one of free-for-all competition between the corporations and the private air companies? Will not that present us with considerable difficulty if and when we enter the Common Market?

Mr. Woodhouse

I think that at present it is likely to present greater difficulties to the Common Market countries themselves who, so far from having integrated their practices, are in a number of cases pursuing radically different lines of policy in the matter. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we shall watch this position most carefully, but there is no sign at all that the Council of the Community regards it as a question of urgency.