London Airport (Documentation and Control of Imports)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking 12:00 am, 18th July 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what decision he has reached concerning the participation of Her Majesty's Customs in the proposed Scheme for the installation of electrical data processing facilities for air freight at London Airport, Heathrow; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in the discussions being held by Customs and Excise about the installation of data processing equipment for freight handing at London Airport.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

A joint group representing Customs and airlines has drawn up a technically feasible scheme for applying modern computer methods to the documentation and control of imports at Heathrow. The views of other interested parties are now being ascertained, and the financial and management aspects of the scheme are being examined.

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

Does the Minister understand the importance of pressing ahead with the scheme, which is most valuable and the initiative for which came from the airline side? Is he aware that it should save the Customs several hundred employees and greatly expedite the handling of imports and exports by air?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

I am well aware of both the potentialities and the urgency of the scheme.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Is the Minister also aware that the French Government have apparently taken a decision to install a .similar system at Orly which will be in operation as early as 1970, and will it not raise possibilities of sales of hardware and "know-how" as long as we press ahead as fast as possible? Has the Minister any comment on that?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

The target date for the scheme referred to in the Question is also 1970.