HC Deb 17 July 1961 vol 644 cc875-6
33. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Minister of Aviation what regulations he makes regarding the tipping of porters at airports and air terminals under the control of this Department.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

Ministry of Aviation porters at airports and aerodromes are forbidden to solicit tips from passengers or visitors or to behave in such a manner as to suggest tips are expected, but they are not debarred from accepting tips which are freely and spontaneously offered. Ministry porters are not employed at the air terminals.

Mr. Stratton Mills

While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him if he does not feel that as B.E.A., particularly, and other airlines have a strictly enforced "no-tipping at all" policy, there is considerable confusion in the minds of people using our airports? Will he also bear in mind that, as I once had a tip returned to me by a French porter at a French airport—[HON. MEMBERS: "Was it too small?"] —I admit that this should be considered somewhat unusual—it would be more desirable to have a definite policy of no tipping at British airports and air terminals?

Mr. Rippon

I am glad to think that my hon. Friend has had such happy experiences. They do not befall all of us. I do not think that it would be sensible to have an unenforceable rule that all tips should be refused.

Dame Irene Ward

Is my hon. Friend aware that I think our men at our airports are jolly good? Is he aware that they do not let it be known that they would like tips, whereas when one arrives at foreign airports a standard rate is generally demanded? Will he see that our men are put on the same favourable terms, if this decision is an international one, at our airports? Our men have done jolly well.

Mr. Rippon

My hon. Friend does not bestow tributes lightly, and I know that the porters will be grateful for her observations.