HC Deb 16 July 1913 vol 55 cc1225-6
68. Mr. HUNT

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the effect of the restrictions imposed upon British airmen in preventing them from flying over their own country on the aircraft industry in this country and seriously injuring our chance of recovering our neglected power in the air; and if he will consider the desirability of giving certificates to practised British and Irish airmen to fly over the United Kingdom?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME OFFICE (Mr. McKenna)

The Aerial Navigation Orders, to which the hon. Member refers, were made in the interest of national safety. The prohibited areas were carefully chosen by the Admiralty and War Office and cover only an extremely small portion of the United Kingdom, the whole of the remainder being free to all British airmen. Subject to the requirements of the Admiralty and War Office, I am anxious so to administer the Orders as to guard the interests of the aircraft industry; and a proposal made a few days ago by the Royal Aero Club, which resembles the suggestion in the last part of the question, will be carefully considered by the, Departments concerned.


Is it not a fact that these regulations have given great trouble to British airmen? Will the right hon. Gentleman say what is the objection to giving well-known airmen leave to fly over their own country?


It has been quite clearly explained that it is desirable in the public interest that airmen should not fly over particular parts of the country. Those parts are a very small portion of the whole of the country, and the refusal to allow airmen to fly over the given areas does not really in the smallest degree affect the industry.