§ LORD BRABAZON of TARA
My Lords, I wish to ask a question of which I have given private notice. It is to ask His Majesty's Government whether any arrangements have been made for further Inter-Commonwealth discussions about civil air transport following the talks which were held in October of last year.
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AIR (LORD SHERWOOD)
Yes, my Lords. At the invitation of the Canadian Government, officials of British Commonwealth Governments will meet for a Conference in Montreal beginning on the 23rd instant to discuss operational and technical problems connected with the establishment of air routes between members of the British Commonwealth. Air transport services operated for war purposes, will be reviewed and it is expected that there will be discussion of possible operations during the remainder of the war as well as in the post-war period. Any recommendations made by the Conference will be submitted to the Governments for approval.
It has for some time been the intention of the Commonwealth Governments to hold further conversations on aviation problems. Now that a general international conference on the subject is to be held in the United States in November, it has been agreed that the further Commonwealth talks could most conveniently take place in Canada at a meeting attended by the officials of the delegations visiting North America for the Conference in the United States. The South African Government has agreed to postpone the Conference which was to have been held in Johannesburg this month to discuss civil aviation problems affecting Southern Africa.
§ LORD BRABAZON OF TARA
My Lords, arising out of that reply is it not a peculiarly inappropriate moment to have an international conference during the Presidential Election, or very close to it? Further, I understand that the Inter-Commonwealth Conference is to be one of officials and the international conference one of Ministers. If that is so, can the Government tell us who will represent the United Kingdom?
§ LORD SHERWOOD
The question of the appropriateness of the international conference is, of course, a question for the American Government who summoned it. This Conference of the Commonwealth will be of officials and the other one will be of Ministers.