HL Deb 23 July 1969 vol 304 cc1013-4

4.20 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Draft Carriage by Air Acts (Application of Provisions) (Amendment) Order 1969, laid before the House on July 3, 1969, be approved. This Order amends the 1967 Order which, among other things, extends to air mail the principles of the Warsaw Convention as amended at The Hague and the Guadalajara Convention. When the 1967 Order was approved, it was of course the Postmaster General who enjoyed certain exemptions under the Order from liability in relation to the postal services. Although the Post Office Bill has not yet passed on to the Statute Book, both Houses have agreed that the new Post Office Board should take over re- sponsibilities from the Postmaster General in regard to postal services, and this Order ensures that the new Post Office should have the same exemption from liability as the Postmaster General. It does not vary the nature or extent of the immunity in any way.

Probably I ought to remind the House that when we considered the Post Office Bill the Opposition successfully moved an Amendment to Clause 29 (3). This Amendment extends to mail carriers generally the exemption from liability in respect of the carriage of mail enjoyed by the present Post Office. I have reason to believe that later this week it will be reported to the House that the Government accept this particular Amendment of the Opposition, but by virtue of this change in the Post Office Bill there may well be needed further amendment of the Carriage by Air Acts (Application of Provisions) Order 1967. That matter is a somewhat complicated one and will mean consultations with Government Departments and airlines who are carriers of mail. We are advised that despite the probable necessity for this further amendment, the present Order should be proceeded with in order to safeguard the position of the new Post Office. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That the Draft Carriage by Air Acts (Application of Provisions) (Amendment) Order 1969, laid before the House on 3rd July 1969, be approved.—(Lord Beswick.)


My Lords, in joining with the noble Lord in giving our support to this Order, may I thank him for the forecast of the acceptance of our Amendment. We shall expect no difficulty when he comes along with another amending order.

On Question, Motion agreed to.