§ 56. Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has made himself conversant with the pledge of the Secretary of State for Air that the Secretary of State for the Colonies would, on the Colonial Office Vote, make a valuable contribution to the Debate on the position of Egypt from the Air Force point of view; whether he can explain when this pledge was carried out; and what is the present Government policy as to the air position in Egypt?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the last two parts, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave him on Monday last.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is nothing in that speech which in any way carries out the undertaking of the right hon. Gentleman, and that I was not nodding, as he thought I was, but read the speech very carefully?
I listened to it, and have since referred to it, and, if I may be permitted to say so, it is well worth while referring to a speech of such remarkable interest. What I had in mind was a paragraph in which my right hon. Friend dealt with the interchange-ability of machines between Egypt and other parts of the Eastern world, when the developments which are now taking place have borne fruit.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Was not the promise given that the air position would be explained in the Debate on the Air Service, and not in the Debate on the Middle East?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Was not the pledge to the House a definite one that a statement should be made in regard to the air position in Egypt, as the central focus of our air position throughout the world? Would the right hon. Gentleman refer to the pledge of the Secretary of State for Air?
It seems to me, primâ facie, that the Secretary of State for Air was the proper Minister to make a statement on air policy on behalf of His Majesty's Government, whatever part of 1355 the world might be concerned. I think that the present Secretary of State for the Colonies indicated an intention of making a statement on the subject on an earlier day, when he was Secretary of State for War and Air. He was present during the Debate on the Air Vote, in order to make this statement if then desired to do so, but apparently he was not required by the House to refer to it.