Clause 4. — (Information as to air transport undertakings and use of Customs aerodromes.)

Orders of the Day — Air Navigation Bill. – in the House of Commons am ar 25 Mai 1936.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

11.7 p.m.

Photo of Sir Lindsay Everard Sir Lindsay Everard , Melton

I beg to move, in page 6, line 40, at the end, to insert: Provided further that any information supplied to the authorities in pursuance of this Section or of any order made there under shall not without the consent of the person giving the same be revealed or disclosed by or on behalf of the aforesaid authorities to any other person or department. The Committee will see that the Clause deals with the right of the Air Ministry by Order in Council to call for a return of all those who operate aircraft for hire or reward, and the Amendment seeks to ensure that that information, when it is given, shall not be divulged to any other competitor. It must be realised that the Government are associated with a very large company and directly financially interested in it, and it seems to be reasonable, in view of that fact, to ensure that all information given by the smaller companies under the Order in Council should be confined to the Air Ministry, and not handed over to any other Department or to any other firm.

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

The object of this provision is solely to acquire information which is necessary for civil aviation. In most cases these statistics are given to us voluntarily, and I can assure my hon. Friend that there is no intention that this should be a system of prying or any inquisition into the business affairs of others. If my hon. Friend wishes it, I am willing to accept an Amendment to the extent that we will agree not to reveal or bestow any information with regard to a particular company without its consent.

11.9 p.m.

Photo of Mr Reginald Croom-Johnson Mr Reginald Croom-Johnson , Bridgwater

I hope that the Government will consider this matter a little more fully. There is in a number of Statutes a somewhat similar provision, and there has recently been a argument in the courts as to what the effect of this provision is. A very curious situation has arisen. As the decisions in the court stand at the moment, namely, that although an individual may not be permitted to divulge information which has been given pursuant to a Clause of this nature, nevertheless, by the simple expedient of issuing a plaint in the county court or a writ in the High Court, you can thereupon, after pretending or saying that you have a matter of dispute with some person, who is an opposite member, so to speak, in the particular industry, serve a subpoena on an officer of the organisation concerned, and that officer of the organisation is compelled, on the subpoena, to produce the return which has been made under the Act of Parliament in question. I say no more about it, because I understand that the matter is going to be considered in another court. The only reason for my intervention is that the Government shall give further consideration to the form of words which is to be put into a Clause of this sort in order to make perfectly certain that by such procedure as I have explained publicity may not be given to matters which are, I understand, intended to be of a confidential character. I hope the Government will give further consideration to the matter.

11.11 p.m.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

As I understand the right hon. Gentleman's promise, it is that this information will not be disclosed by the Air Ministry to anyone without the consent of the company providing the information. That does not seem to make sense, in accordance with this Clause, because the Clause gives His Majesty, by Order in Council, power to require a person to furnish all such authorities as may be specified in the Order—not to furnish to the Air Ministry —such matters as are material. It is clear that one of the important reasons for doing this is in order to get matters disclosed to the Customs Department, if necessary. Therefore, what the right hon. Gentleman has said—whether he meant it or not I do not know—is to bind the Air Ministry not to disclose to the Customs Department material which is wanted for the Customs Department. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will say something a little more accurate and precise on a matter of very considerable importance. The Bill itself is bad enough, but if it is to be amplified by loose statement from the Treasury Bench, we should be in a far worse position than we are under the Bill as it is. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what he does mean? Does he mean that these statements will be utilised by all such Government Departments as may require them but will not be disclosed to competing firms, which is a sensible thin, to do, or does he mean that the Air Ministry will not disclose the information to any other Department, which is what is asked for in the Amendment, which seems a very stupid thing to do? If he will tell us which of these two things he means, he will assist the Committee.

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

This is information which the company may not wish to be given to a competing firm. We will, between now and the Report stage, consider the mattes very carefully, and see if a form of words can be drafted to meet the point.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

11.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

I beg to move, in page 7, line 39, after "to," to insert: insurance against risks to passengers and goods and as to. This Amendment raises a matter of considerable magnitude. The Government are bound by the Warsaw Convention by which international flying involves the operating company in liability for the lives of its passengers; the operating company is bound to find compensation to the relatives of a passenger killed in an accident up to 125,000 francs maximum. That, in our money, is £1,750. If a passenger loses his life in Imperial Airways flying internationally, that is flying outside Great Britain, and compensation must be paid to the extent of 1,750, but if the passenger loses his life inside Great Britain there is no such obligation upon Imperial Airways, or on any other company which receives a subsidy from the Government to provide for insurance against accident. If a passenger loses his life in an Imperial Airways machine crossing the Channel outside the three-mile limit, compensation is payable if the passenger loses his life over the soil of Great Britain or within the three-mile limit there need be no compensation. I am not saying that firms like Imperial Airways do not voluntarily accept liability for insuring their passengers, I believe they do, but there are at least 10 per rent, of the companies operating over Great Britain who have not seen fit to take out an insurance covering their passengers and goods when flying over British soil in case of accident. When a former Secretary of State for Air lost his life when flying over France, no compensation was payable because the aircraft company was not insured against accidents.

I understand that the objection of the Government to insisting upon all aircraft companies insuring their passengers against accident when flying over British soil is that the cost is so heavy as to make all the difference to the operating company between making a loss or a profit. That is an extraordinary argument for a British Government or a British aircraft company to use. If a passenger goes up in an aeroplane in this country, if an accident occurs and if the company is not insured, then, as the Bill now stands, there may be no compensation payable to the relatives of the deceased person. We on this side suggest that when the Government are giving huge subsidies to all sorts of people in this industry and when compensation is payable compulsorily to everybody except passengers, it ought to be made obligatory for the Secretary of State, when he is issuing licences, to see that every operating company must do what we believe Imperial Airways have already done, that is, insure all their passengers against accident, whether they are flying over British soil or internationally.

I repeat that we are bound by the Warsaw Convention so far as international flying is concerned, and the same ought to apply in the case of flying over British soil, and it is to secure that the Secretary of State will fill up this extraordinary omission in the Bill and make it obligatory on every operating company to insure its passengers at least for the sum of £1,750, for which they would be insured if flying across European soil, that we move this Amendment. It would be an extraordinary state of affairs, if in the early stages of the operation of this Bill, there were an accident on British soil, if persons lost their lives and no compensation was payable. It is in order to avoid that that we move this Amendment.

11.23 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for explaining so clearly what he had in mind in moving this Amendment, and I do not dispute that he has raised an important point. I have made inquiries before speaking in an endeavour to prepare myself, for this is a difficult question, and I confess to the right hon. Gentleman that I had not fully appreciated that he was moving the Amendment in view of the position created by the Warsaw Convention. But unless I am wholly misinformed, which is always possible, the Warsaw Convention does not contain a provision for insurance at all. As I understand it, there is a provision that, in respect of international flying, there shall be accepted by the companies liability up to a maximum.

Mr. JOHINSTON:

Unless there is negligence.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

My point is that I do not think the Warsaw Convention is a Convention which provides that an air transport company shall insure itself so as to be able to pay what it may be liable to pay to an injured person. It is a Convention, I think—I will, of course, look into it carefully before we come to the next stage—which provides that, apart from negligence, as the right hon. Gentleman says, there shall be a certain statutory limit as to the amount of compensation which shall be paid. Therefore, the Committee will see that, as far as the Warsaw Convention is brought into the matter, there is not a provision which has anything to do with the air transport companies insuring—

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Will the right hon. Gentleman make further inquiries as to whether or not it is the fact that all these companies—Imperial Airways for one—are insuring in so far as international flying is concerned and that Imperial Airways are insuring also in so far as home flying is concerned 1 It is simply to cover the 10 per cent. who are not insuring, as regards home flying, that I move the Amendment.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

The right hon. Gentleman will not mind if I stick to the point with which I began. I now have the Warsaw Convention before me and my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General tells me that it does not provide that any transport company shall take out an insurance policy about anything. Therefore, in so far as the right hon. Gentleman was putting the argument that he wanted, by this Amendment, to secure inside this island what the Warsaw Convention secures inter- nationally, I think there was some mistake. I understand his point as he has now explained it, but, if the Committee examines the Clause, they will see that it deals with a different subject-matter from that with which the right hon. Gentleman was dealing. Describing it generally, but I think accurately, I would say that the object of the Clause is to provide, by a system of licensing, for the prevention of undesirable competition on particular routes and at the same time to ensure that, while the licensees are favoured to 'that extent, there should be no unfair raising of fares and charges. If you simply say to a company, "We give you the sole licence to operate this route" and stop there, that company, in the absence of anything to prevent them from doing so, might be tempted to make their fares and charges excessive. Therefore, the Clause says that the Order in Council shall make provision to secure that aircraft shall not he used in the United Kingdom for carrying passengers or goods for hire or reward except under the authority of a licence and paragraph (d), to which the right hon. Gentleman suggests this addition, says that the Order in Council shall also make provision: as to the conditions which may be attached to such a licence (including conditions as to the fares, freight or other charges to be charged by the holder of the licence), The reason why the two things are tied together in the Clause is to provide in a practical way for a system of licensing air transport along particular routes, instead of having rival concerns running along it, and at the same time to secure that the licensed company shall not overcharge. Whatever be the value of the right hon. Gentleman's point, it is out of place in this connection. From my own recollection and experience—I am a little rusty and it may be out of date in these matters now—I do not recall any case in our law in which a public transport enterprise of any sort, whether rail or road, is bound by law to enter into what may be called third-party insurance.

HON. MEMBERS:

Yes.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

What about the Road Traffic Act?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

Perhaps I have not put it quite correctly. I do not recollect any instance of a provision corresponding to this imposed by the law in a corresponding case, but I am willing to have that matter examined and considered. It is clear, however, that the proposal of the Amendment should not come into this Clause, which defines the Order in Council under which the licences are to be given and the conditions which are necessary, if you are giving what is really a monopoly to the licence holder. We had some difficulty in understanding at first what was the purpose of the Amendment. I am satisfied that it could not properly come in here, and if he will allow me and those who are with me to look at the Warsaw Convention, I shall be glad to see whether there is anything there which it is proper to consider, but my present conviction is that the Clause as it stands is right, and I do not think this addition to the Bill would be proper.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Could the right hon. Gentleman inform the Committee whether he and the Government accept in principle the argument that no company should be allowed to carry passengers for fare and profit unless it has made adequate provision, by insurance or otherwise, for the due compensation of the passengers should an accident take place?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

I should like, on every ground, to facilitate our proceedings, but I am sorry that I cannot agree to do that across the Table. The proposition which I did not quite accurately state I should like to state now more accurately. It is this: I do not think there is any precedent in our law under which a transport company, by the contract to carry a person, is compelled at the same time to insure against the liability of having to compensate that person in the event of an accident. No railway company is bound by our law to enter into any system of insurance to compensate any one of us if we are being carried contractually by the company, and the same observation applies to any other form of transport undertaking. It would be an entirely novel provision ii our law. Insurance against third party risks is one in regard to people who have made no contract at all, and, so far as that is concerned, there is Part III of the Bill. Therefore, I am sorry that I could not undertake to accept this principle. I shall be very glad to have it examined, but I believe I am right in saying that up to the present there is no precedent whatever in our law or practice for putting upon any transport company the obligation to insure against the possibility of having to compensate somebody who has contracted with that company to be carried. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not, therefore, think it reasonable that I should give an assurance of that sort at this time of the night.

11.33 p.m.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are companies operating now with a capital of £100? Does he think it is in the public interest that any company should be permitted—I am not talking about the 90 per cent. which voluntarily accept the provision—to get a licence to fly and to carry passengers unless it is prepared to make due provision for the compensation of the relatives of those passengers should an accident unfortunately occur? I am not seeking to bind down the right hon. Gentleman to the form of words or anything else, but I am speaking in the public interest, before it is too late to present a grotesque injustice, something from which I am sure the Government and every section of this House would recoil. I am only asking the right hon. Gentleman and the Government to say, before it is too late, that they accept in principle the argument that no licence should be granted unless the Government of the day is absolutely satisfied that, by insurance or otherwise, a company is able to meet its obligations to the relatives of persons who suffer through accident while being transported by that company. I do not see what the difficulty is in the way of the Government accepting that principle. If the Government will accept that, I am sure it will meet with the approval and good will of the whole Committee.

11.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

The right hon. Gentleman has made his point entirely plain, but I am sure he appreciates that there is also some force in the observation that I have made, namely, that this would be an entirely new departure in our law. There are £100 companies, for all I know, running buses and all sorts of things, and we must really proceed with due caution about this matter. I will gladly look into it and, if necessary, consult the right hon. Gentleman, but I really cannot give an assurance now further than that. I must consult our legal advisers and others.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Will my right hon. Friend allow me to ask a question following what the right hon. Gentleman has said Even if there is no precedent for the Amendment, there is no precedent on all fours with this form of transport. If my right hon. Friend thinks that it is undesirable as a general rule to insist that where a company, whether in the air or on the ground, carries passengers it should be compelled to insure, will he not adopt the alternative system of ensuring that the financial stability of the company is guaranteed so that the unfortunate passengers who may be injured will be able to obtain compensation?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

If my Noble Friend feels that all forms of transport ought to be insured against accidents to passengers, he ought not to take a journey. He had better not take a ride in a taxicab, for there is no provision in law by which the taxi-driver has to insure against the damages which my Noble Friend may incur. He had better never go in a steamer or any form of public transport. I am willing to consider whether there is anything specially different about this case, but I must ask the Committee not to push too hard what certainly is a wholly new departure in the law which is not very easy to deduce from this Amendment.

11.38 p.m.

Photo of Sir George Benson Sir George Benson , Chesterfield

The speech of the right hon. Gentleman is an argument that we should carefully examine into various forms of public conveyance to see whether they ought to be insured, rather than an argument against the Amendment. This Committee is, in regard to its own proceedings, rather prone to follow precedents, but this is the first time I have heard it suggested that in our dealings with outside persons and bodies they also should be dealt with according to precedent. We are making precedents every day. Our business is to make them. There will be no progress unless we continually make precedents, and the mere fact that there is no precedent for the compulsory insurance of passengers in present forms of transport is not a reason for saying that we should not make a precedent now with regard to air transport. Having made that precedent, I hope that sooner or later we shall extend it to other forms of transport. With regard to railways, one does not suggest that they should insure because they have adequate capital. My right hon. Friend has suggested as an alternative to an insurance policy some guarantee of financial stability, so that in the event of an accident the passengers should not be entirely deprived of compensation on account of the financial position of the company.

11.41 p.m.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

I hope the Home Secretary will give this matter further consideration. I should like to see the Amendment inserted, in order to ensure that the point will be dealt with. The Home Secretary has said that there is no precedent, and that it is too much to ask him to adopt this course at this hour of the night. I would point out to him that in the Road Traffic Act, 1930, full liability was put on any company running public vehicles for the conveyance of passengers. I admit that no obligation to take out at insurance was put on the company, and that is probably one of the weaknesses of that Act; but it was on account of the large number of accidents caused by ordinary motorists that the Government introduced compulsory third-party insurance in their case. People running motor cars were endangering the lives of the public, and if after an accident heavy damages were given against them they had in some cases no resources out of which to meet the damages. Consequently, Parliament set the precedent of enacting that before they were allowed to run their cars they must insure against third-party risks. It is only carrying that decision to its logical conclusion to say that concerns which are to carry passengers must be

in a position to pay adequate compensation to them in case of accident. Surely that is common sense, and I cannot understand the hesitation of the right hon. Gentleman to go further than he has gone. Let us join the precedent which Parliament created in the matter of third-party insurance to the precedent created under the Road Traffic Act of 1930 in putting full liability on the owners of public vehicles, and grant what is being asked for in this Amendment. I hope the Government will accept the Amendment, even if after consideration they decide that the object can be better achieved in some other way on the Report stage: but let us put something definite into the Bill now.

11.45 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ralph Assheton Mr Ralph Assheton , Rushcliffe

I hope the Government will not accept this Amendment. It seems ridiculous at this stage of the Bill and at this hour to import a completely new principle into our law. It is possible to ride on switchbacks, merry-go-rounds and all sorts of dangerous things. If you are to apply this principle to travel in aeroplanes, it is only right that you should consider the question at large and not try to make a patchwork thing like this. I do not think this Amendment should be accepted.

11.46 p.m.

Photo of Sir Robert Aske Sir Robert Aske , Newcastle upon Tyne East

There is very little substance in this Amendment. If an intending passenger wishes to insure, he can take out his own insurance, either for a large or a very small amount. The roadway companies are not open to insure, but whenever one goes to a railway station one can take out an insurance upon the journey for a very small sum indeed. There is no difficulty whatever in a passenger insuring.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 94; Noes, 200.

Division No. 203.]AYES.[11.47 p.m.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)Burke, W. A.Ede, J. C.
Adamson, W. M.Cape, T.Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Charleton, H. C.Evans. D. O. (Cardigan)
Ammon, C. G.Cluse, W. S.Fletcher, U.-Comdr. R. T. H.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Cocks, F. S.Garro Jones, G. M.
Barnes, A. J.Compton, J.George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)
Barr, J.Cripps, Hon. Sir StaffordGlbbins, J.
Benson, G.Daggar, G.Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)
Broad, F. A.Dalton, H.Greer, W. H. (Deptford)
Brooke, W.Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)Greenwood. Rt. Hon. A.
Buchanan, G.Day, H.Grenfell, D. R.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)Macdonald, G. (Ince)Seely, Sir H. M.
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)McGhee, H. G.Sexton, T. M.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)MacLaren, A,Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)Maclean, N.Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)Marklew, E.Smith, E. (Stoke)
Hardle, G. D.Messer, F.Sorensen, R. W,
Harris, Sir P. A.Mliner, Major J.Stephen, C.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Montague, F.Stewart, W. J. (H'ghfn-le-Sp'ng)
Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.)Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Muff, G.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Holdsworth, H.Oliver, G. H.Thurtle, E.
Hollins, A.Paling, W.Tinker, J. J.
Hopkin, D.Parker, H. J. H.Watson, W. McL.
Jagger, J.Potts, J.Welsh, J. C.
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Price, M. P.White, H. Graham
Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.Pritt, D. N.Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Jones, A. C. (Shipley)Rlley, B.Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Ritson, J.Woods, G. S. (Flnsbury)
Kelly, W. T.Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Logan, D. G.Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Lunn, W.Rowson, G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. John and Mr. Whiteley.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.Dunglass, LordMabane, W. (Huddersfield)
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)Dunne, P. R. R.McCorquodale, M, S.
Agnew, Lieut. -Comdr. P. G.Eckersley, P. T.Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.McKie, J. H.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)Emery, J. F.Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Aske, Sir R. W.Emmott, C. E. G. C.Maitland, A.
Assheton, R.Emrys-Evans, P. V.Margesson. Capt. Rt Hon. H. D. R.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Errington, E.Markham, S. F.
Atholl, Duchess ofErskine Hill, A. G.Maxwell, S. A.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.Everard, W. L.Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Balfour. Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)Fildes, Sir H.Meller, Sir R. J. (Mltcham)
Baxter, A. BeverleyFindlay, Sir E.Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury)Fleming, E. L.Morgan, R. H.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)Fox, Sir G. W. G.Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)
Beit, Sir A. L.Fremantle, Sir F. E.Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)
Bernays, R. H.Furness, S. N.Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.
Blinded, Sir J.Fyfe, D. P. M.Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Unlv's.)
Boothby, R. J. G.Gibson, C. G.Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
Bossom. A. C.Gledhill. G.Munro, P.
Boulton, W. W.Goodman, Col. A. W,O'Connor, Sir Terence J.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VanslttartGraham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)Orr-Ewlng, I. L.
Bower, Comdr. R. T.Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)Palmer, G. E. H.
Boyce, H. LeslieGridley, Sir A. B.Penny, Sir G.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Grimston. R. V.Petherlck, M.
Bull, B. B.Gritten, W. G. HowardPlckthorn, K. W. M.
Burghley, LordGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)Pilkington, R.
Burgin, Dr. E. L.Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Campbell, Sir E. T.Guinness, T. L. E. B.Ramsbotham, H.
Gary, R. A.Gunston, Capt. D. W.Ramsden, Sir E.
Castlereagh, ViscountGuy, J. C. M.Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)Hanbury, Sir C.Rayner, Major R. H.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)Hannah, I. C.Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Channon, H.Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)Ropner, Colonel L.
Christie, J. A.Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)Rowlands, G.
Colman, N. C. D.Herbert, Captain S. (Abbey)Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J.Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon)Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Holmes, J. S.Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.Salt, E. W.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Courthope, Col Sir G. L.Hudson, R. S. (Southport)Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Craddock, Sir R. H.Hulbert, N. J.Scott, Lord William
Craven-Ellis, W.Hume, Sir G. H.Shakespeare, G. H.
Crooke, J. S,Hunter, T.Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.James, Wing-Commander A. W.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Groom-Johnson, R. P.Joel, D. J. B.Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Crowder, J. F. E.Keeling, E. H.Simmonds, O, E,
Culverwell, C. T.Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st),
Davies, C. (Montgomery)Lamb, Sir J. O.Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Oavies, Major G. F. (Yeovll)Latham, Sir P.Smithers. Sir W.
De Chair, S. S.Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Oorman-Smith, Major R. H.Leckle, J. A.Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Drewe, C.Leech, Dr. J. W.Spens, W. p.
Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop)Lennox- Boyd, A. T. L.Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)Lindsay. K. M.Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Dugdale, Major T. L.Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.Strickland, Captain W. F.
Duggan, H. J.Loftus, P. C.Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Duncan, J. A. L.Lyons, A. M.Tate, Mavis C.
Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)Warrender, Sir V.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Touche, G. C.Waterhouse, Captain C.Womersley, Sir W. J.
Tufnell, Lieut. Com. R, L.Wedderburn, H. J. S.Wragg, H.
Turton, R. H.Wells, S. R.Young, A. S. L. (Particle)
Wakefield, W. W.Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Walker-Smith, Sir J.Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Ward, Lieut.-col. Sir A. L. (Hull)Willoughby de Eresby, LordMr. James Stuart and Lieut.-
Ward, Irene (Wallsend)Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)Colonel Llewellin.

Resolution reported, That for the purpose of any Act of the present Session (hereafter referred to as "the said Act") to provide for the vesting in the Commissioners of Works of certain Crown Lands in Westminster as a site for public offices and police offices, to amend the law with respect to other Crown Lands, to amend the Crown Lands Acts, 1829 to 1927, and the Public Offices (Sites) Act 1912, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient—

  1. (a) to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of all expenses incurred by the Commisisoners of Works under such of the provisions of the said Act as relate to the said Crown Lands in Westminster and to the amendment of the Public Offices (Sites) Act, 1912, so far as provision is not otherwise made for those expenses;
  2. (b) to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund of the sums to be paid to the Commissioners of Crown Lands by the Commissioners of Works under the said. Act in respect of the said Crown Lands in Westminster, if and to the extent that the moneys provided by Parliament for the service of the Commissioners of Works are insufficient for the payment of those sums;
  3. (c) to amend the provisions of section three of the Public Offices (Sites) Act, 1912, relating to the ascertainment of the amount of the consideration payable to His Majesty for the northern lands and the rate of interest payable thereon;
  4. (d) in the event of the hereditary revenues which are by Section one of the Civil List Act, 1910, directed to be carried to and made part of the Consolidated Fund ceasing to be carried to and made part of that Fund at any time before the payment to the Commissioners of Crown Lands of the capital sum payable out of the Forestry Fund by virtue of any Order in Council made under the said Act transferring to the Forestry Commissioners land purchased by the Commissioners of Crown Lands to authorise—
    1. (i) the payment forthwith out of the Consolidated Fund to the Commissioners of Crown Lands of a sum equal to the said capital sum; and
    2. (ii) the payment of the said capital sum, and any annual sums payable out of the Forestry Fund by virtue of the Order, into the Exchequer instead of to the Commissioners of Crown Lands."
Resolution agreed to.

Photo of Sir Lindsay Everard Sir Lindsay Everard , Melton

I beg to move, in page 8, line 5, to leave out paragraph (f).

Clause 5 deals with the licensing of air transport and commercial flying undertakings, and paragraph (f)enables fees to be charged for the licensing of these undertakings. Some apprehension is expressed that the fee may be a heavy one which would be unfair on a small, newly-formed company as compared with larger concerns which are better off financially. We should like to see these fees done away with altogether, or, if that be not possible, we should like to see the scale of fees set out in the Bill itself, in order that companies desiring to get a licence may be fully aware of what the fee is likely to be.

11.56 p.m.

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

To leave out paragraph (f) would make it impossible to charge a fee for any licence. A fee has to be paid for a ground engineer's licence, or for a pilot's licence, or for an aerodrome licence, and it would not be logical that an air transport service should not pay any licence fee at all. When the time comes, the scale of fees for these licences will be settled.

Photo of Sir Lindsay Everard Sir Lindsay Everard , Melton

Could my right hon. Friend give some undertaking that the fee will be a reasonable one, that it will not be large in amount, and that it will be the same for all types of commercial flying concerns?

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

May I ask the. Under-Secretary on what basis these fees will be fixed, what the amounts will be, and in what circumstances they will be charged?

Photo of Sir Philip Sassoon Sir Philip Sassoon , Hythe

All those matters will be matters for consideration. I cannot say now how they will be dealt with, but when the time comes they will be borne in mind.

Amendment negatived.