Civil Aviation Bill
Lord Clinton-Davis (Labour)
My Lords, first, I pay tribute to the noble Countess, Lady Mar, for the way she has raised this issue on innumerable occasions and with care and diligence. I put my name down to this particular amendment although I do not think that it is the last word, as she has said. But I would like to hear my noble friend on this issue. I hope that the Government will take the whole issue seriously. BALPA has long discussed this issue. It should not be discarded. It is a significant problem but it is not capable of an instant solution.
The noble Countess, Lady Mar, has presented a powerful case, and I am sure that my noble friend—I hope at least—will take on board what she has said. My hope is that the necessary research in the United Kingdom—rather than that in the United States; although that is relevant but not wholly persuasive—should be undertaken speedily but thoroughly and also independently. It is vital that this issue is not susceptible to the criticism that the authority conducting the research is not wholly independent.
I conclude by saying that the noble Countess, Lady Mar, has done a real service by airing this concern. While I say that immediate solutions are not viable, and that the possible solution which she has put down is not necessarily the last word, I think that it is worth while the Government ensuring that this issue is properly researched as soon as possible.