§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government when they will make available schedules of external routes to be operated by each of the three airline companies, and also the schedule of air services to be operated within the United Kingdom, and whether the schedules will, in all cases, include the dates on which operations will commence and the types of aircraft to be used.]217
§ LORD NATHAN
My Lords, external services in general are operated on routes laid down in bilateral agreements between His Majesty's Government and the foreign Governments concerned. Such agreements as have been concluded have been laid before Parliament and others are under active negotiation. As regards internal operations, a schedule of services was published in June of this year. The noble Lord will, of course, appreciate that circumstances from time to time involve modification. Time-tables of existing services are, of course, available, and I will arrange for copies to be sent to the noble Lord.
Under the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act, the three Corporations are required to submit to me their programme and estimates for each financial year, as well as a forward programme covering three years. Consultations on the future programme are already on foot between my Ministry and the Corporations. As arrangements are made for new services to come into operation time-tables will be issued, but to publish a schedule in anticipation might be prejudicial to our competitive position.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
My Lords, I hope the noble Lord will be able to go a little further than this, and I beg to give him notice that I shall certainly revert to this matter in the debate next week. We know there are these agreements, but these are agreements made that countries may run reciprocal services. Two years ago a complete plan was ready of the services it was intended to run, and I announced the Imperial services. Surely this House is entitled to have a simple statement of the services—Dominion, foreign, and internal—which it is the intention of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to run, how many of these services are in operation, and when those not yet in operation will be. That cannot hurt anybody.