HC Deb 11 March 1924 vol 170 cc2188-9

With regard to lighter than air work, we have given serious consideration to the airship scheme associated with the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Lieut.-Commander Burney). Airship development has not had a very happy history in this or any other country, and we think this scheme needs still more examination. The hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge will have full opportunity given to him of laying his view before the Cabinet Committee which is considering the whole question. Therefore, I do not feel justified in asking for any money this year for airships.


Is it proposed, if that scheme be approved, that it should be worked under the Air Ministry, or under the Admiralty?


I cannot give a definite reply as to what is being proposed. All I say is that should it become necessary later on in the year to ask for money for airship development, we shall present, I presume, a Supplementary Estimate.

Captain BENN

For the Air Ministry?



Commander BELLAIRS

Is there any idea when the Cabinet Committee will come to a decision?


I do not think it is going to be very long. We are very anxious to develop civil flying. We have paid, and are continuing to pay, large sums for that purpose. As an instrument for binding the nations together it may yet rival the steamship, the railway, and the international post. We must not neglect the work of fostering it, and of helping it, if the possibility arises, to become as practical and as commonplace as the motor-car.