HC Deb 30 December 1912 vol 46 cc43-4

asked whether an officer of the Australian Army attached to the British Army has been advised by the War Office to learn to fly at a foreign school; and why this course was adopted, seeing that his doing so is calculated to divert Australian orders for aeroplanes to foreign firms instead of encouraging Australia to order from British firms?

Colonel SEELY

No such advice has been given so far as I can ascertain.


asked whether, in view of the War Office proposal that civilian aviation schools and aerodromes were to be encouraged by sending officers to learn to fly there, and by engaging accommodation for military machines at such aerodromes, any officers whatever have been sent by the War Office to learn at civilian schools; whether any arrangements have been definitely made for the accommodation of Government machines at such aerodromes; whether officers of the British Army have recently been sent by the Government to learn to fly at foreign schools; and, if so, for what [...]?

Colonel SEELY

Officers are required to learn to fly and to obtain a Royal Aero Club certificate before being taken for a course of instruction in military flying, but it is left to them to decide where they will go to learn. Of the 111 officers who have obtained the certificate and have been selected for the corps 108 obtained them after receiving instruction in Great Britain at civilian flying schools. Arrangements have been made for accommodation for Army aeroplanes at four civil aerodromes, and the War Office is prepared to extend this number if other civil aerodromes in suitable places are ready to enter into agreements on the terms already arranged. No officers have been sent to learn to fly at foreign schools; I understand that one officer has recently gone to a French flying school at his own wish.