HC Deb 10 February 1926 vol 191 cc1020-2

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state what is the total amount in each of the three last years spent by France and Italy, respectively, on their Army, Navy, and Air Force; and what percentage of the total national expenditure does it represent?


As the details asked for by the hon. Member involve many figures, I will, with his permission, circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the details:

The information desired by the hon. Member is given in the following table:—

1923: Frs.
Total Services (Army, Navy and Air) 5,550,302,158
Total national Expenditure 41,701,000,000
Percentage 13.3
Total Services 5,143,640,722
Total national Expenditure 41,887,000,000
Percentage 12.3.
Total Services 5,596,627,694
Total national Expenditure 33,136,000,000
Percentage 16.9
1923: Millions of lire.
Total Services (Army, Navy and Air) 3,558
Total national expenditure 24,779
Percentage 14.3
Total Services 3,274
Total national expenditure 22,399
Percentage 14.6
Total Services 3,100
Total national expenditure 18,819
Percentage 16.5


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the figures for the last three years of the number of men and machines in the French and Italian Air Forces?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Major Sir Philip Sassoon)

I have been asked to reply. So far as I am aware the French and Italian Governments have not recently published exact statistics as to the strength of their respective Air Forces, but according to my information the first line strength of the French Air Services at the present time is approximately 1,300 machines, whilst the corresponding figure for the Italian Air Force is 600 machines. There has been little change in these figures during the past three years, but the French figure represents a small increase as compared with 1924, whilst the Italian Air Force is in the early stages of a considerable programme of expansion. As regards personnel it is not practicable to give figures since a large number of those employed on air duties are found from the Navy and Army, both in France and in Italy.

Captain BENN

Is the expansion of the French Air Force in accordance with the anticipations of the Government of last year when our own Air Force was expanded?


The increase since 1924 is only a small increase, and I think it is entirely in accord with what we anticipated.