HC Deb 14 March 1923 vol 161 c1605

Order for Committee read.

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Samuel Hoare)

I beg to move, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

I am sorry the first Debate we should have on the Air Estimates should be a short evening. I can promise hon. Members that I will make as short a speech as I can, but I would ask for their attention in view of the fact that I have to cover a wide field and to deal with several important questions. I would ask them, in accordance with the usual practice, to allow me to get Votes A 1, 4, 2 and 3 this evening. At the same time. I can assure them that, if the House allows me to get those Votes, hon. Members are not sacrificing any opportunity of criticising my administration. Vote 5 will remain open. My salary is on Vote 5, and it is open to any hon. Member after this evening to criticise, any item in my administration. I propose to deal in particular with three subjects. In the first place I want to say a few words about the principal events which have taken place in the field of air administration since last year. Secondly I want to ask the careful attention of the House to what is really the big problem of air administration, the problem of air defence, and thirdly, I want to explain to the House, as far as I can, the Government attitude with reference to various questions connected with civil aviation.

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