HC Deb 27 October 1919 vol 120 cc278-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether large numbers of aeroplanes have been destroyed by burning in the occupied districts of France and Belgium; whether aeroplanes of the newest type were being delivered under contracts until the summer of this year; and whether the Canadian Government, adopting a different policy, disposed of similar aircraft with commercial advantage?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Major-General Seely)

In answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, instructions have been given: (a) that any aircraft declared obsolete for all purposes (i.e., Air Force and civil) shall be reduced to produce, and the produce handed to the Disposal Board; and (b)that any aircraft totally wrecked and beyond repair shall be reduced to produce, and the wreckage burned after removal of all parts of value. The number of crashed aircraft burnt after the removal of the valuable parts under (b)has been twenty-eight. In addition, since the 1st July, 1919, the residue of 259 crashed and 359 deteriorated or obsolete machines has been burnt after the valuable parts had been removed the answer to the second part is in the affirmative. I have no official knowledge of the matter referred to in the third part of my hon. Friend's question, but I think lie has in mind a transaction carried out by the representative of the Ministry of Munitions in Canada on behalf of His Majesty's Government. If I am correct, I would refer him to the Minister of Munitions.