§ Mr. Thornton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why Her Majesty's Customs and Excise is not able to make effective provision at Liverpool airport for flights diverted from other airports during the winter period; and if he will take urgent steps to remedy this deficiency in the light of the consequences for the future financing of the airport.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
I do not accept that the provisions are inadequate. During the day Customs provides immediate attention, and during the evening attendance can be provided at half an hour's notice or less. Longer notice is required after midnight, since it would be wasteful to keep additional staff on duty to cover the rare occasions on which diverted aircraft arrive during the night hours. This would not be compatible with the need for economy in Civil Service manpower.