Mr Oliver Simmonds: Would the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that it is highly improper for any member of his Department to circulate party political pamphlets, whether they come from the Right or the Left, and in view of the fact that this is not the first grave indiscretion of this officer, would he consider whether he could be more usefully employed elsewhere?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: What is the organisation through which the public can send wireless sets to the Forces in the Middle East?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: Will my right hon. Friend publish it in the OFFICIAL REPORT?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the need in responsible executive positions in British air transport of men who have previous experience of this subject; and what action he proposes to take towards this end?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is universal apprehension at the unhappy state of the executive control of the Corporation, and will he seek out, even throughout the Empire, men who have had experience in air transport, and not merely rely upon successful business men or chartered accountants?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the excellent record of the flying-boat and landplane captains of the British Overseas Airways Corporation; and whether he will state the average of the total hours flown and total miles covered by the 12 pilots who have most flying hours to their credit?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: Does not this show that there is nothing wrong with the flying side of British civil aviation? Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the executive and managerial sides are equally strengthened? Would he also be good enough to publish the names of these pilots in the OFFICIAL REPORT?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: My hon. Friend made a very important reference to international control, but I thought his remark a little ambiguous. Would he be quite specific? He is not in any way suggesting an international aircraft-operating organisation, is he?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: International air line operation.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Order in Council, dated 22nd March, 1943, made under the Emergency Powers (Defence) Acts, 1939 and 1940, substituting a new Regulation for Regulation 54CA of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, a copy of which was presented to this House on 23rd March, be annulled. In moving this humble Prayer, I ought to...
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I am not anxious to take up too much of the time of the House, but if I am asked, certainly I will reply. I would say that a financial director in the sense that I am using the word—and it is the usually accepted sense in commerce—is one who is placed upon the board because the owner of a certain interest in the business desires that that director should protect the financial investment.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I would think it is clearly at the selection of the investor, but there must be many cases where, for instance, the financial director is a chartered accountant and has no knowledge at all of the affairs of the business. I think the term is generally recognised throughout industry. Let me therefore examine this point as to whether these directors are financial or administrative directors....
Mr Oliver Simmonds: State control.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: On a point of Order. I consider that a wholly unworthy remark and I ask the hon. Member to withdraw it.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I hope the hon. Member understands fully that neither my hon Friends nor I made any gesture or request to the Government. We were invited into consultation.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: Does that sum include progress payments, and are they of a capital nature?
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I think my right hon. Friend has misrepresented me. I was speaking of their functions in the company, not of their legal responsibilities.
Mr Oliver Simmonds: Mr. Simmonds rose——
Mr Oliver Simmonds: I must agree that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Production has given us some very substantial pledges, and I am sensible of what my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Sir H. Williams) and a number of my hon. Friends who signed this Prayer feel on this issue. Although, therefore, we feel that the Order would be better off the Statute Book, we nevertheless take note of what has...
Mr Oliver Simmonds: asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what was the condition of affairs at the Point of Ayr Colliery which decided him to place this colliery under his own control?