§ 4. Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress is being made in negotiations on possible additional Concorde routes to Johannesburg and Melbourne.
§ Mr. McCrindle
Has not the Secretary of State noticed, during the parliamentary recess, an indication that the Australian 891 route for Concorde now appears likely to come into service in the near future? Taking that into account, and assuming the ultimate success of the routes to Washington and New York, will he tell me whether the availability of Concorde aircraft will allow the extension to perhaps only one other route, such as Johannesburg or Tokyo?
§ Mr. Dell
I have indeed noticed the statement of the Australian Minister for Transport during the recess. As the Minister made clear in that statement—it was not, I believe, widely reported—there may be certain statutory processes yet to be gone through, but I hope it will be possible to start a service to Melbourne. As to the availability of the Concorde aircraft for further routes, that is something we shall discuss when it is necessary so to do.
§ Mr. Terry Walker
In thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I impress on him that it is very urgent that these routes should now be looked at? Will he tell us what is now happening about India with regard to overflying rights? What consultations are taking place with the Indian Government?
§ Mr. Jessel
Why should the Government expect the Indians, who are citizens of the Commonwealth, to allow their people to be overflown by Concorde supersonically when we insist that our own people in Britain may be overflown by Concorde only subsonically?
§ Mr. Neubert
Will the Secretary of state say what efforts are being made to facilitate a trial operation of Concorde to India to enable the Indian people to decide for themselves the merits of this remarkable aircraft?
§ Mr. Adley
Will the Secretary of State confirm that, contrary to the expectations of the anti-Concorde lobby, no one in Washington has lost arms, legs or any other organs since flights started? Will he accept the congratulations of millions of people on the determination of his Department and of many other people in getting this aircraft launched commercially with success?
§ Mr. Tebbit
Will the Secretary of State say whether Her Majesty's Government have now given up negotiating with India and are prepared to let the matter slide entirely and not pursue it?