States votes on British Government plans

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From Flight Magazine, 20 March 1947

LAST month, in one of the stormiest debates for some years, the States of Jersey rejected the nationalization of Channel Islands Airways by a majority of three votes, and sent a representation to the Ministry of Civil Aviation asking that an associate arrangement and an agreement under Sections 4 and 23 of the Civil Aviation Act should be considered.

Constitutional issue

The fate of CIA as a particular company, did not really enter into the debate, as the issue was constitutional, and rested on whether or not the Home Government had a right to legislate for a self-governing community such as Jersey. Channel Islands Airways, however, is registered in Jersey, and is regarded as a local company, although most of its capital is held by the Southern and Great Western Railways.

This fact was repeatedly emphasized, and the point was made that as the States really had no control of CIA, no harm was being done in allowing BEAC to take over. The argument against this was that if BEAC took over control of Jersey's airlines the Channel Islands route would only be regarded as a branch line, and trade and services would suffer.

The situation now stands that once again Jersey will ask for a separate agreement and will point out that Channel Islands Airways, as an associate company of BEAC, would be able to give better service to the Islands than a monopoly.

Resignation

On the final vote, 23 members were in favour of asking for the establishment of an associate airline, not necessarily CIA, and 20 were against. The president of the Harbours and Airports Committee, which roughly conforms to the MCA, took this as a vote of no confidence in his committee and immediately resigned. He was, however, persuaded to stay. The defeat of the Act in Guernsey was overwhelming, being 34 against nine.

It is felt in Jersey that Channel Islands Airways will be allowed to continue as an associate company, although there does not seem to be any indication from the Ministry that it will be so. Mr Lindgren, in a written answer to a question in the House last week, stated that the Home Secretary and the Minister of Civil Aviation were considering both resolutions, and he hoped that an announcement would shortly be made.

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