HC Deb 15 June 1927 vol 207 cc999-1000
28. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether, in view of the fact that the Report of the Morrow Committee in America in favour of retaining the organisation of separate naval and military air forces and making civil aviation entirely independent of military control has been accepted by Congress, he will cause copies of the Report and evidence to be placed in the Library?

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

As the Report of the so-called "Morrow Committee, in discussing the air organisation which is in their view most suitable for the United States at the present time, explicitly drew attention to the different circumstances in Great Britain, it would not appear that any useful purpose would be served by placing copies of this Report and of the evidence taken before the Committee in the Library.

Commander BELLAIRS

Why does the Secretary of State for Air object to any information being furnished to this House. Seeing that this was a very full inquiry, why should not Members of this House have the benefit of seeing the Report as we have had no public inquiry of any kind into, air affairs in this country?


If there be a widespread desire that the document should be placed at the disposal of hon. Members—I do not think there is—my right hon. Friend will be only too willing to see that it is made available to Members, together with the subsequently published Report of The Congress Select Committee, which contains much striking information with regard to overlapping, lack of co-ordination, and so on.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is the Under-Secretary of State aware that the Morrow Committee covered the whole ground and was appointed by the President, while the Congress Committee dealt with contracts, and was only called upon to deal with contracts?

46. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the fact that we have never held a public inquiry into the relations of aviation, civil and military, to the fighting forces, whether he is aware that what is known as the Morrow Committee in America in 1925 came unanimously to opposite conclusions to those on which our air development is being conducted, and that Congress has accepted this Report and controversy has ended in America; and whether the Government will now hold an impartial public inquiry into the air position of our Empire?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the statement which I made on the subject of our defence organisation in general and the Air Ministry in particular on the 25th February, 1926, some three months after the date of the so-called Morrow Report, and to which I have nothing to add.

Commander BELLAIRS

Does not my right hon. Friend think that nine years after the War, seeing that no public inquiry has been held and that every other nation follows a different policy, we should have some public inquiry to reassure the public on the matter?


I have yet to be convinced that they require reassuring.