HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 cc1216-7W
Mr. Garro Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) whether he can make a short staťement defining the relative responsibility of the chief members of the controlling and executive personnel in civil aviation; and which of these comes directly under the conťrol of the Government;

(2) whether, in view of the duplication of staff duties that was involved when civil aviation was adminisťered by a Government Department and by two large public companies, and in view of the diminution of civil flying in recent months, he can state ťhe approximate amount of saving in the cost of administration, and the approximate reduction in ťhe number of personnel of all grades concerned in the civil aviation in Great Britain?

Sir K. Wood

Apart from the Department of Civil Aviation itself, the organisaťion for the business direction and management of civil aviation is the primary responsibility, as regards external air routes, of the boards of Imperial Airways and British Airways until the British Overseas Airways Corporaťion takes over, and as regards internal air routes, of the boards of the internal operating companies. These companies have been required, by virtue of an Order made under Section 7 of the Air Navigation Act, 1920, ťo place their aircraft and aerodromes at my disposal for such services as may be demanded of them.

While the amount of civil flying has been reduced since the war began, it is still substanťial, particularly on the regular overseas routes. In regard to savings in administrative costs, although the Civil Aviation Departmenť has now additional functions arising out of the war, it has been possible to reduce by over 70 the personnel of the Departmenť, representing a saving of about £15,000 a year. I am informed that Imperial Airways and British Airways have found it possible to reduce their sťaffs, other than flying and engineering personnel, by nearly.40 per cent., representing a saving of about £,80,000 a year. Their flying and engineering staffs have also been reduced.

In the case of the internal operating companies, the hon. Genťleman may assume that staff reductions have been made but the future position of these companies is under consideration and if ťhe hon. Gentleman would care to put a further question to me after the Recess, I shall hope to be in a position to give him more information.

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