HC Deb 07 May 1913 vol 52 cc2018-20

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the improvements in aeroplanes during the last few months, he will be prepared to raise the standard of effectiveness suggested by the hon. Member for Brentford as ability to fly at fifty miles an hour at a height of 3,000 feet, to seventy-five miles an hour at a height of 5,000 feet; and, if so, how many effective machines on this basis he now has?

Colonel SEELY

It is not proposed to accept either of those standards of effectiveness, which have no relation to requirements for military purposes.

24. Mr. SANDYS

asked how many Blériot monoplanes, Bristol monoplanes, Deperdussin monoplanes, Flanders monoplanes, Nieuport monoplanes; and Martin Handasyde monoplanes were included in Lord Montagu's list of 101 effective machines; and, if so, how many of those, respectively, are not being used at the present time?


asked whether it can be stated when the monoplanes at, present in the possession of the Army and stored at the Royal Aircraft Factory will be put in flying order; whether this is to be done by the staff of the Royal Aircraft Factory or by the makers of the aeroplanes, and, if the latter, when the orders for the alterations are to be given out; and whether it is in the public interest that these machines should have been allowed to remain useless for the past five months since the Monoplane Committee completed its Report?

Colonel SEELY

Twenty-eight monoplanes were in possession on 19th March of this year. I am informed that all of these were capable of being flown, but were not being used pending final consideration of the Report of the Monoplane Accidents Committee. A small number of these machines are now considered to comply with the requirements of safety, and the remainder will be reconstructed.


When does the right hon. Gentleman expect the Report will be completed?

Colonel SEELY

I think we may say it is now completer. We have made up our minds as to how far it is necessary in the interests of safety to accept the full recommendations of the Monoplane Committee.


The hon. Member (Mr. Sandy's) question relates to Lord Montagu's list of 19th March.

Colonel SEELY

I do not know what is meant by Lord Montagu's list. What happened was that Lord Montagu fell into the error of thinking that my advisers had given me wrong information. I asked him to come to the War Office, and gave him all the documents put before me from day to day. He immediately apologised for having made an erroneous statement. I do not know what is meant by his list. I showed him all the papers.