HC Deb 04 August 1965 vol 717 cc1684-5
27. Mr. Raphael Tuck

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he is aware that a number of passengers who formerly used British European Airways have now transferred to other lines because British European Airways no longer supplies sweets on take-off and landing; and if he will issue a general direction in the public interest to British European Airways to resume the supply of these sweets to its passengers.

Mr. Stonehouse

No, Sir. I think that this is a matter which could reasonably be left to the collective judgment of the board of British European Airways.

Mr. Tuck

Is the Minister aware that the sucking of this barley sugar affects the ear health, if one may so call it, of passengers on take-off and landing? Does he think that this penny-pinching is worth the resultant loss of passenger traffic?

Mr. Stonehouse

I do not agree that B.E.A. has lost traffic as a result of this. In fact, it has increased in the last eight years by 121 per cent. B.E.A. feels that with the modern aircraft which it uses nowadays there is not so much need for the customers to suck sweets. I feel that my hon. Friend has not scored a bull's eye on this point.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the Minister aware that we are quite willing to forgo the sweets if we can only get a seat when we want one? It appears now that one finds it difficult to get a seat unless one gives notice a long time in advance, and occasionally that makes it awkward.

Mr. Stonehouse

I will certainly bring that to the attention of B.E.A. and I hope that the Corporation will be able to meet the requirements which are made upon it during this year.

Mr. Boston

Does not the Minister think that as a result of this decision all the suckers are on the other air lines?