§ 35. Mr. Cronin
asked the Minister of Aviation what further steps he intends to take to increase the competitive efficiency of the British Overseas Airways Corporation.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that B.O.A.C. made a further large loss during the last financial year and that the Corbett Report has been in the Minister's hands for several weeks? Should we not have had a statement already and also an opportunity to debate this serious subject before the House rises?
§ Mr. Amery
I do not think so. I have had the Report in my hands only about a month. I was, as the hon. Gentleman knows, in the Soviet Union until late in June, and it was on my desk only a few days before I came back. I have been studying it, but, as the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, although the Ministry of Aviation has to take the lead in matters of this kind, we have to discuss them with other Government Departments. I am not in a position to make a statement, let alone give the House information on which to base a debate.
Unless we know the contents of the Report, how can we judge whether the measures which the Minister will take are sufficient to deal with the problems revealed by the Report? Does he not agree that until such time as the House and the country know the content of the Report, any action which he or B.O.A.C. may take cannot be judged effectively against the size of the problem?
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
As no secrets are involved in this nationalised industry, would it not be better for the House and the country to know the worst? It cannot be much worse than it is today. The sooner the House knows about the matter and debates it, the better.