HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1642-3
38. Mr. Onslow

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied that the Air Transport Licensing Board is discharging its obligations under the Civil Aviation (Licensing) Act, 1960: and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jay

Yes, Sir. I have no doubt that the Board carries out its obligations under the Act scrupulously and conscientiously.

Mr. Onslow

Can the Minister tell the House what statutory duty the Board had last year to take into account the criteria for price behaviour set out in the White Paper on prices and incomes policy in considering domestic fare increase applications? Is he aware that this year probably no domestic carrier is making a profit on internal routes? How, in those conditions, can the Board be said to be carrying out its obligations?

Mr. Jay

The Board is compelled to act according to the legislation that set it up. In so far as it can do that, taking into account the Government's prices and incomes policy at the same time, I have no doubt that it is doing so.

Mr. Marten

Would the right hon. Gentleman answer the Question put by my hon. Friend? Under what authority did the Air Transport Licensing Board have to consider the Government's prices and incomes policy? It was not in its Statute to do so.

Mr. Jay

So far as that conflicted with the Statute—if it did—the Board would clearly not be bound to do so. But if there was no conflict there is no reason why it should not take account of the Government's policy.