HC Deb 03 May 1972 vol 836 cc155-6W
Mr. Sproat

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to call a conference of interested parties, to include British European Airways Helicopter Limited, Her Majesty's Coastguard, the Royal Naval Lifeboat Institution, mountain rescue teams, and representatives of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, fire brigades, ambulance services and police, under the chairmanship of his Department, with a view to setting up an integrated emergency service; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Noble:

The Department's responsibility for search and rescue is limited to civil, marine and aviation incidents, and I consider that the arrangements for these incidents are adequate. However, the Government recently considered whether or not to set up a civilian air search and rescue organisation and reached the conclusion that the present system under which military aircraft give assistance to civilians in trouble works satisfactorily, and that to superimpose a civilian helicopter organisation upon that of the Services would be a wasteful duplication of effort.

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