HC Deb 25 March 1964 vol 692 cc453-4
19. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Aviation what has been the number of Britannia aircraft sold by the British Overseas Airways Corporation.

Mr. Marten

British Overseas Airways Corporation informs us that it has so far disposed of seven Britannias.

Mr. Milne

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that if these aircraft which are being sold have a long and safe flying life ahead of them that is a case for their retention by B.O.A.C., and if this is so, does not this represent a hidden subsidy from the nationalised airlines to private airline companies?

Mr. Marten

B.O.A.C. sells them when it wants to sell them.

Mr. Fernyhough

Can the hon. Gentleman explain why, if these planes are serviceable and airworthy, they are not good enough for the nationalised industry to operate, but are good enough for private flying?

Mr. Marten

Because the nationalised Corporation in this case wishes to change over to other aircraft, for various reasons, and sells them to other airlines which wish to operate Britannias. It is a commercial matter.