HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1636-7
86. Lieut.-Colonel MALONE

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether it was proposed to hold a competition for commercial types of aircraft ; and, if so, when particulars would be published?

Major-General SEELY

Yes, Sir. During the War the paramount necessity in aircraft design was military efficiency, but for the successful development of aviation the first essential is safety. The Government have accordingly decided to institute a competition with a view to obtaining a type giving greater safety. Any machine which succeeds in qualifying will represent a great advance in respect of safety and comfort over any machine at present in use. The Treasury have agreed to the competition, and I am sure that, even at this juncture, the House will not grudge the funds for the prizes. Prizes will be offered for three types of aircraft—a smaller aeroplane, a larger aeroplane, and a seaplane, respectively. In addition to the advantage to civil aviation the lessons learnt will be of the greatest value to the Royal Air Force The precise terms of the competition will be announced in a few days. If all the competitions are won, the amount required for prizes would be about £64,000.