HC Deb 15 March 1923 vol 161 cc1748-9

asked the Secretary of State for Air the number of officers on, and attached to, the Air staff in Iraq?

Captain HACKING (Vice-Chamberlain of the Household)

I have been asked to reply. The answer is: Royal Air Force officers employed on Air staff, administrative, technical and medical duties, 60; Army officers attached for special staff and intelligence duties and for liaison work with the British and Indian troops, 12.

35. Mr. BECKER

asked the Secretary of State for Air how much has so far been spent upon the new Royal Air Force base at Hinaidi, in Iraq; and whether, in view of the necessity for economy, orders will be given for the complete and immediate cessation of work on this base?


My right hon. Friend yesterday circulated to the right hon. Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) an answer to his question of the 6th March, and he would refer my hon. Friend to the information contained therein.

As regards the second part of the question, my right hon. Friend would point out that by far the greater part of work in hand has already been completed, and whilst every effort is being made to cut down all unnecessary expense, it would be very false economy to leave the buildings uncompleted at this stage. There are, however, certain outstanding items, amounting in all to £90,000, which have not yet been started, and upon which work will not be commenced until a policy regarding Iraq has been decided.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the and gallant Gentleman aware that the future of the Government of Iraq is by no means settled, and was it not rather a foolish policy to start this expensive work before the question was settled?