§ 2.54 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government why the large clock surmounting the tower of the British Overseas Airways Corporation building in Buckingham Palace Road is not working, and what steps are being taken to remedy this inconvenience to the public, and particularly to travellers arriving at the air terminal.]
THE MINISTER OF CIVIL AVIATION (LORD PAKENHAM)
My Lords, this is a matter for the day-to-day administration of the British Overseas Airways Corporation, and is not a matter for which His Majesty's Government are responsible. I have, however, passed the noble Lord's Question on to the Chairman of British Overseas Airways Corporation, who I am sure will explain the situation to him.
My Lords, arising out of that answer, may I suggest that the clock has been out of action for a very long time and, therefore, that it is more a matter of year-to-year or month-to-month administration? Also, is this not a case of one nationalised industry and the general public suffering from the shortcomings in supply of another nationalised industry?
My Lords, I am afraid that, for constitutional reasons which will be obvious to the House, I cannot add to my original answer. I can simply use the expression which was imported earlier, and say that this is a case where a Minister should employ the latitude inherent in a Peer to refrain from speaking.