HL Deb 31 July 1984 vol 455 cc650-1

2.53 p.m.

Baroness Burton of Coventry

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any comment from the Civil Aviation Authority concerning the two air fare guides on the availability of cheap tickets from "bucket shops".

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

No, my Lords.

Baroness Burton of Coventry

My Lords, does the Minister recall that on 1lth July I asked him whether it was true that the CAA had expressed some reluctance to deal with this matter and whether he would press them? Does he not feel that, as all the tickets in the "bucket shops" are supplied by airlines themselves, it is indeed necessary that the Civil Aviation Authority should concern themselves with that matter? Secondly, does the noble Lord have any comment to make on the report that the Foreign Office is to reduce the cost of sending diplomats abroad by making use of "promotional" air fares? Can he say something about these "promotional" air fares and from where they will be obtained?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, the promotional fares to which the noble Baroness refers are the fares properly authorised and published by the airlines concerned. It is those fares that the Foreign Office are, as are other Government departments, seeking to take the best advantage of. As for the first part of the noble Baroness's supplementary question, the documents to which the noble Baroness has referred today, and on the previous occasion when she raised this matter, are publications widely available and it is not, I think, the role of the Civil Aviation Authority necessarily to vet all such documents.

Baroness Burton of Coventry

I am sorry, my Lords, but the Minister is not correct. Is he aware that I am not referring to any documents or any publications, but to the fact that the CAA should concern themselves with the availability of cheaper tickets for all travellers at all agencies? Secondly, as time is running out and the Recess is due tomorrow, can the noble Lord enlighten the House as to when we may expect the Government's consultative document on air traffic movements?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, that document is being published today, and I will let the noble Baroness have a copy this afternoon.

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