Mr. Robert Hughes:
The Minister must realise that there is a connection between deregulation. whether internationally or in Europe, and the merger between British Caledonian and British Airways. Would it not have been much better, since, as I understand it, he was advised of the talks early last week, to have had a thorough discussion with the two airlines and with the other operators in order to arrive at a sensible and rational solution to the issues, instead of the unseemly scramble that is going on to try to get routes from British Caledonian and British Airways? If the matter is to go to the Director General of Fair Trading, will the Minister advise the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to make a reference quickly so that the matter can be resolved as early as possible in the interests of all those concerned in airline aviation?