HC Deb 17 July 1922 vol 156 cc1706-7
36. Viscount CURZON

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the very grave position of the aircraft industry in this country; whether he is aware that it is in immediate danger of complete collapse, and that all development and research is practically at a standstill; that, if this should occur, it will not be possible to provide for expansion in emergency, and that the industry may take years to recover; that it has been admitted by the Admiralty that the present organisation of the Royal Air Force does not provide the Royal Navy with the machines and personnel required, both lighter and heavier than air, for its present establishment; and whether he can state what immediate steps the Government intend to take to meet the grave developments and to provide for future requirements, both civil and military?


I am fully alive to the position of the aircraft industry, though I cannot accept all the statements made by my Noble and gallant Friend, which seem to me to be exaggerated. As I have already announced, the whole question is engaging the careful consideration of the Committee of Imperial Defence.

Viscount CURZON

When the right hon. Gentleman says my statement is exaggerated, is he aware that the Secretary of State for Air has already announced that he views the situation with grave alarm?