HC Deb 19 July 1922 vol 156 cc2054-5
48. Lieut.-Colonel A. MURRAY

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the statement made by the First Lord of the Admiralty, in an address to the 1920 Club, to the effect that the Navy must have control over its Air Service; and whether this statement represents the views of His Majesty's Government?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN (Leader of the House)

The Government policy-was stated by me in this House on 16th March of this year, and to this statement I have at present nothing to add, as the inquiry into the system of naval and air co-operation which I then foreshadowed is still proceeding. I should add that the meeting addressed by my Noble Friend was a private one, and reporters were not present. The account of what he said which reached the Press was, I am informed by him, unauthorised and incorrect.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Can the Lord Privy Seal tell us what the right hon. Gentleman did say?


Nothing inconsistent with the statement of policy which I made to the House in March last.

Captain W. BENN

Will the Committee, to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred, give effect to the decision of the Government to maintain the unity and integrity of the Air Force?


No, Sir, the decision of the Government was that there should be an integral Air Force, and the Committee to which I have referred, and the appointment of which I then foreshadowed, was to consider methods in which Naval and Air Force co-operation could be most effectively carried out to the advantage of both services, and, above all, to the advantage of the country.


When will the Committee report?


I cannot say. It is dealing with very important matters, and with matters, admittedly, of some difficulty. With every good will on both sides, there will be no delay, but I cannot fix a time.