§ Sir P. Macdonald
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what steps have been taken to give the same priority for air travel to important representatives of business and industrial interests as have been given to Services personnel.
Mr. Ivor Thomas
The allocation of seats on air transport services is the responsibility of the Air Priorities Board, which was established in 1942, under the chairmanship of the Under-Secretary of State for Air, on the recommendation of the Lord President of the Council. The Board has recognised that, with the end of hostilities, the claims of business and 1165W industrial interests must be taken into account in granting priorities. The question has also been engaging my Noble Friend's attention, and it has been agreed with the Secretary of State for Air, with the approval of the Lord President of the Council, that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation shall be a joint Chairman of the Board. A representative of the Board of Trade and Department of Overseas Trade has recently taken the place of the war-time representative of the War Supply Departments, and my Noble Friend is considering, in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Air, whether any further measures can usefully be taken to ensure that a proper balance is maintained in dealing with competing claims for air passages and accommodation.