HC Deb 29 July 1966 vol 732 c342W
Sir R. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what was the cause of the accidental damage to aircraft during loading operations as stated in Vote C.8.(4) of the Supplementary Estimates, 1966–67; and why insurance cover was not taken out against this contingency.

Mr. Bottomley

Following incidents involving damage to aircraft and airport installations at Dar-es-Salaam difficulty was experienced by the local agent responsible for loading airlift aircraft in obtaining adequate insurance cover against such risks. As this led to a temporary cessation of the airlift and might have prejudiced its continuation it was decided that Her Majesty's Government should indemnify that loading agent against possible claims of the owners or insurers of aircraft engaged in the airlift. The agent was also required to extend his existing insurance to cover all claims by third parties arising from his loading operations. The Supplementary Estimate makes token provision for meeting any claims under the indemnity and for the small additional cost of the third party insurance undertaken. No claims have, in fact, been received under the indemnity.