§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what is his estimate of the annual number of additional transatlantic journeys which would have been made if Laker Airways Skytrain service had been introduced; whether he will study ways of encouraging alternative low-cost service not requiring lengthy pre-booking; and, in particular, whether he will seek a reduction in the reservation period required for advance booking charters;
(2) on what date he or his Department last expressed to the American CAB its support for Laker Airways' proposed Skytrain;
(3) what authority or support was given to him or his Department to Laker Airways for the purchase by them of DC 10 aircraft; and whether this authority or support was given in the knowledge that the company intended to use the aircraft for its proposed Skytrain service to the United States of America;
(4) what were the advantages for passengers his Department saw in Laker Airways' proposed Skytrain service to the United States of America during the period when the Department first granted the airline designated carrier status and supported the proposal;237W
(5) by how much the proposed fares on Laker Airways' Skytrain service were less than those of other scheduled operators;
(6) whether he accepts in principle that it would be desirable to introduce for some prospective passengers the cheapest possible form of transatlantic travel; and whether he will make it his policy to sanction such a service as soon as possible;
(7) what were the unique features of the proposed Skytrain service of Laker Airways which were supported by his Department; whether his proposals for the future of civil aviation will enable British Airways to provide such a service; and whether he will encourage them to do so or support them if they seek to do so;
(8) whether, ir requested, he would be prepared to compensate Laker Airways following the withdrawal of his Department's support for their proposed Skytrain service to the United States of America and loss of their status as designated carriers, such compensaton to have regard to the legal and other costs incurred by the company in further the project and to the commitments entered into with the knowledge of his Department for the purchase of DC 10 aircraft to operate the service;
(9) whether the Civil Aviation Authority agreed with his proposal to prevent Laker Airways operating its Skytrain service to the United States of America; and, if so, whether it gave reasons for withdrawing its previous support for the projet.
§ Mr. Shore
I would refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's reply to the debate on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriations) Bill of 1st August. I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible on the additional points he has raised, and will place copies in the Library at the same time.