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Nationalisation Bill

Introduced N.Z. Press Association—Copyright Rec. noon. CANBERRA, this day. The Commonwealth Government will appoint a commission of five to be known as the Australian National Airlines Commission to control and operate the Australian inter-State airline services. Its powers to establish and maintain air services can be extended to cover international services, but these will not be subject to the same limitations. as imposed on the interState routes. The commission's actions will be subject to Ministerial direction in major matters.

The Government's intentions in the nationalisation of these airways were outlined in the Australian National Airlines Bill introduced in the House of Representatives by the Air Minister, Mr. Drakefora. Farreaching powers are entrusted to the commission. It can compulsorily acquire aircraft and other property, excluding land, and the owners will be compensated. The Minister may direct the commission to establish or alter or continue to maintain any particular air service.

The commission will be charged with the responsibility of providing efficient, economically operated, airline services between States, between States and the Commonwealth territories, and within the Commonwealth territories. Provision is made in the bill for an initial appropriation of £3,000,000, from which advances will be made to the commission to enable it to establish and operate its scheduled air transport services. Issue of New Licenses Mr. Drakeford said that after the commencement of the Act, no new airlines licenses would be issued to persons other than the commission, or a contractor of the commission authorising carriage between any stopping places on the commission's services of certain classes of traffic which the commission's services were capable of handling adequately. He said that where an airline licence was issued to the commission for any airline service authorised by the bill, and the commission had established that, service, any airline licence held by any other person that called at stopping places served by the commission would be automatically rendered inoperative.

"It will be seen, therefore, that the existing airline licenses are not affected by the bill except in so far as the services operated under those licenses cater for traffic which is adequately provided for by the commission's services."

The commission will appoint a general manager, who will be the chief executive officer of the commission. The commission., in regard to airline services, will be treated under air navigation regulations in the same way as if it were a private company. Private companies cannot compete on the same route as operated by the commission. A heavy penalty is provided. I

Nationalisation Justified

In introducing the bill Mr. Drakeford said that nationalisation of these airlines was justified by the Government on four grounds. These were the Government's social obligation to the nation,. its economic obligation, national development and national defence. Socialisation in any form was anathema to members of the Opposition, but if Australia had depended on private enterprise to organise the country for war, we would not have accomplished one fraction of our marvellous war effort.

One had to ask: "Is national ownership and control of civil aviation preferable to a private monopoly?" The Canadian and South African Governments owned the air lines of those countries. New Zealand intended to nationalise its air services, and the British Labour party was committed to a similar policy. "We are proud to introduce this bill, which is honest and constructive, and has a major national object," said Mr. Drakeford. "Aviation is now part of the very core of the economic, social, diplomatic and defence policy of the nation. This bill is comparable to those which gave the Australian Government control of the postal services and railways."

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Bibliographic details

AUSTRALIA'S PLAN FOR CONTROL OF AIRWAYS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

AUSTRALIA'S PLAN FOR CONTROL OF AIRWAYS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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