§ Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has received the report from the British Airways Board outlining proposals for the future organisation of British European Airways and the British Overseas Airways Corporation; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
Yes. I have received the report of the Airways Board provided for in Section 39 of the Civil Aviation Act, 1971, and it is presented to Parliament today.
I should like to congratulate the board on the speed with which this report has been presented.
The report recommends important changes in the organisation of the public sector airlines, although BEA and BOAC continue as the main operating units in the group. The recommendations and programme for further work are consistent with the Government's objectives in setting up the Airways Board and are therefore acceptable to the Government. Accordingly I have today given my consent to their being implemented
As the House will see from the report, the conclusions reached by the Airways Board provide a framework for further work to be done on the best organisation for certain activities and the need for legally separate air corporations. I understand from Mr. Nicolson that the Airways Board will be pressing on with its consideration of these subjects, and will report to me on the legal status of the corporations as soon as possible.