§ Mr. Montague
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the promised investigation into the allegations against the management of Imperial Airways, Limited, has yet been held?
§ Mr. Perkins
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the investigation into the allegations against the management of Imperial Airways, Limited, has been held; and, if so, with what result?
§ Sir K. Wood
On taking up his appointment as chairman of Imperial Airways, Limited, Sir John Reith undertook an examination of the charges made in this House against its management. I have received a copy of his report, and am glad to have this opportunity of informing the House of his conclusions.
The company was charged with attempting to victimise individual pilots for being members of the newly-formed British Air Line Pilots' Association. Sir John Reith reports that though certain of the senior officials of the company regretted the formation of this association and made their views on this matter known to pilots, he has found no signs 799W of coercion or victimisation. In this connection, it should be recorded that the aspersions cast on two prominent gentlemen connected with aviation insurance have been repudiated by them, and that their repudiation has been accepted by the British Air Line Pilots' Association.
Sir John Reith has also investigated the complaints as to defects in organisation and in the standard of working conditions. He has reported that in a Company developing so rapidly, yet with so many obligations, certain defects were only to be expected. Most have, however, since been eradicated, and improvement is progressive.
The allegations against the personal conduct of one of the company's managers overseas have been investigated separately and in great detail, and have not been substantiated.
Finally, as regards the characteristics of the D.H. 86 aircraft, Sir John Reith has reported that these machines were unsuitable, as originally delivered to the company, for operation in certain conditions. Suggestions for improvements were put forward by the company's pilots and technical experts and the necessary modifications had in fact been made when the matter was discussed in the House on 31st May.