HC Deb 01 April 1936 vol 310 cc2013-4W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he can make any statement about British air transport development in the years immediately after the War and before the institution of a single centralised undertaking, with particular reference to the activities of the four independent companies which were the precursors of Imperial Airways, Limited?


I am very glad to have the opportunity of clearing up some misunderstanding which appears to have arisen in connection with my remarks on the occasion of introducing Air Estimates. These remarks bad reference to the system condemned in the report of the Civil Air Transport Subsidies Committee of 1923, which spoke of it as entailing, in effect, competition by the Government against itself. I was not, of course, referring to the activities of the individual companies. British aviation owes indeed a real debt to the vision and enterprise of those responsible for the four original companies, namely, Handley Page Transport Limited, Instone Air Line, Limited, Daimler Hire Limited, and the British Marine Air Navigation Company, Limited. It was their faith, even in those early days, in the future of commercial flying which laid the foundations of British air transport.