HL Deb 16 November 1976 vol 377 cc1123-5

6 Page 4, line 7, at end insert: (1A) Nothing in this Act shall preclude British Airways Corporation or any other British Airline registered in this country from seeking supplies of civil aircraft including engines and ancillary equipment from any source should British Aerospace be unable or refuse for any reason to meet the specifications for civil aircraft including engines and ancillary equipment asked for by such airline.

The Commons disagreed to this Amendment for the following Reason:

7 Because it is unnecessary, since there is nothing in the Bill that would restrict the powers of British Airways or any other British airline in the manner implied by the Amendment.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 6 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 7. Our real opposition to this Amendment is that it is simply unnecessary. It requires that nothing in this Act shall preclude … Nothing in this Act does preclude what the Amendment states. There is no provision in the Bill which implicitly or explicitly enables the Secretary of State to apply pressure on a British airline. The Amendment was intended as an "avoidance of doubt" provision to make it clear that British airlines were free to order from any source if British Aerospace cannot or will not meet their requirements. But it would be absurd to leave in the Bill Amendments which seek to clarify a position which no one has any doubt about. If I may nit-pick, I will point out that the Amendment refers to "British Airways" by the wrong name—"Corporation" instead of "Board". However, for the non-nit-picking reasons, I beg your Lordships not to insist on Amendment No. 6.

Moved, That the House doth not insist on the said Amendment, to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 7.


My Lords, while noting that there is no obligation in the Bill, and that this provision is considered unnecessary, is it not better to put it in the Bill in order to make quite certain that it is unnecessary?


My Lords, British Airways is a very powerful body world-wide and within the private sector of the British air industry we have some rather strong minded people like Mr. Laker, if I may mention a name. I do not see any organisation being forced to buy equipment against their will. I think it is unnecessary.

On Question, Motion agreed to.