At a news conference in London last week the Minister of Planes, Mr Hugh Strangeways, announced that no fewer than 14 small British Independent airlines had been forced out of business during the previous week. He was, he said, delighted at the results of his campaign to “wipe all small British airlines of the face of the earth”. He added that he was intending to introduce new legislation, which would “make it impossible for even the most determined and enterprising small British airline company to remain in business for more than five minutes”.
The Minister dismissed recent suggestions that the death penalty should be introduced to deter the managements of small airlines from introducing low fares, and suggestions that life imprisonment should be the penalty for such offences as the achievement of low operating costs, the innovation of fresh ideas, personal service, specialized work for charterers, membership of the Baltic Exchange, and so on. Such measures, he said, would be “unduly restrictive” – though they might have to be applied if matters got out of hand.
He was hoping, he said, looking at his watch, that another 32 small independents would be forced out of business during the next 24 hours.