River Thames (Seaplanes)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th May 1949.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Macpherson Mr Thomas Macpherson , Romford 12:00 am, 25th May 1949

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he has given consideration to establishing a seaplane base on the Thames in view of the recent successful visit of the 35-ton flying boat "City of London."

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

I regret that regular flying boat operations on a busy waterway like the Thames would be impracticable.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macpherson Mr Thomas Macpherson , Romford

Is my hon. Friend aware that on other equally busy waterways seaplanes—British seaplanes, too—have regularly used such ports? I have in mind the Nile at Cairo and the Clyde anchorages emergency port on the Clyde during the war.

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

Even on the Nile the shipping was an embarrassment to B.O.A.C., and I think that B.O.A.C. was an embarrassment to the shipping. It is equally true, if my geography is correct, that the Nile is non-tidal whereas the Thames is tidal; and the density of shipping and tidal conditions of the Thames make this proposal impossible.

Mr. Ivor Thomas:

While I do not dispute the Parliamentary Secretary's answer, may I ask whether any further action is being taken to give effect to the Pakenham Report?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

That is not an urgent matter at present, because the S.R. 45 is the only new flying boat involved in the immediate future; and the report is not at present being proceeded with.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macpherson Mr Thomas Macpherson , Romford

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Port of London Authority, who have some knowledge of the river and its shipping possibilities, have recommended that a seaplane base be established on the Thames?

Photo of Mr George Lindgren Mr George Lindgren , Wellingborough

On behalf of my noble Friend, I should like to say how much we appreciate the help of the Port of London Authority and the shipping interests in the recent landing of the flying boat on the Thames. Whilst it is a pleasure for people to do a thing once, to continue asking for that favour might become a nuisance.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say where the S.R. 45 flying boat will operate from if not from London?