HC Deb 16 November 1955 vol 546 cc32-3W
Mr. Farey-Jones

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how far, under the accident investigation procedure laid down in paragraph 15 of the Memorandum of the Minister of Civil Aviation, dated November, 1948, Command Paper No. 7564, he is satisfied that the test of serious negligence as one of the tests on which he decides whether a public inquiry should be held into an accident to a civil aircraft has proved to be satisfactory in practice; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have come to the conclusion that the term "serious negligence" is ambiguous, imprecise and unsatisfactory. I have therefore, asked the Chief Inspector of Accidents in future to report whether the preliminary inquiries show evidence of either (a) a reckless disregard for lives of persons or their safety or that of their property, or (b) a high degree of carelessness. These criteria will be substituted for "serious negligence" in assisting me in coming to a conclusion whether a public inquiry is needed in the particular case.