HC Deb 04 August 1965 vol 717 cc1670-1
8. Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Minister of Aviation what types of computer are in use by the nationalised airlines.

Mr. Stonehouse

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the written reply of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology to the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Charles Morrison) on 7th July which gave details of the computers owned by the Air Corporations and the purposes for which they are used.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that the computer at present employed by B.E.A. is an excellent machine, which is doing valuable service and is capable of great development, but that it now appears that B.O.A.C. is planning to install—at a cost of about £6 million—a computer which, although it may serve the particular functions of B.O.A.C. quite well, is incompatible with that now in existence at B.E.A.? Is not it lamentable for the future of British aviation as a whole that these two nationalised airlines should have computers which will not be able to co-ordinate one with the other?

Mr. Stonehouse

On the first point, I quite agree. B.E.A. has made a very good buy in obtaining a computer which meets its particular needs, but these needs do not necessarily correspond with those of B.O.A.C., and I understand—having gone into this matter with somecare—that the Airimp system of the I.A.T.A. will provide full compatibility between the computers of B.E.A. and those acquired, or to be acquired by B.O.A.C.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Are these British computers?

Mr. Stonehouse

B.E.A. has bought computers built here, but B.O.A.C. is proposing to buy American computers.