HC Deb 19 November 1962 vol 667 cc817-8
37. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Minister of Aviation if he has now completed consideration of the application from British European Airways for an annual subsidy on Scottish services; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Amery

No, Sir. The Coroporation's recent application is being considered, but I am not yet ready to make a statement.

Sir D. Robertson

Is it not a fact that the Highlands services in Scotland are threatened with curtailment unless they get a subsidy? Will the Minister say why the Government permit a rival private service to be run on three days a week between Manchester and Glasgow and Wick when there is an excellent daily service provided by B.E.A.?

Mr. Amery

That is rather a different question. If my hon. Friend would like to put down a Question on that I shall do my best to answer it.

Mr. Hoy

Does not the Minister realise that it makes it all the more difficult for B.E.A. to fulfil its functions in this part of Scotland if his Ministry sanctions an opposition service of this kind?

Mr. Amery

I refer the hon. Member to what I said in answer to the debate recently when I volunteered some ideas on this subject.

Miss Harvie Anderson

Will my right hon. Friend consider whether first-class flights with an inclusive fee for drink and food are economic on a one-hour journey and whether there is any evidence to show that the additional£3 has attracted passengers other than those travelling on expense accounts who would be travelling anyway?

Mr. Amery

The level of fares is a matter for the Corporation.

Mr. Lee

Would the Minister agree, following this interchange of questions and answers, that the Licensing Board is interpreting the Act in the way in which the House believes it should be interpreted? Will he consider many of the judgments which are being made by the Board to see if there is adequate coverage on the routes? If so, will he refuse to agree to license any more?

Mr. Amery

I am always ready to consider anything which the hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Lee) suggests.

Mr. Speaker rose


Mr. Woodburn

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Question No. 49, which is in my name, is practically on the same point. Could I be allowed to deal with it in a supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker

I think that if we did that we might tend to prevent the right hon. Gentleman getting there.