HC Deb 30 March 1927 vol 204 cc1243-4
42. Colonel DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether any action has been taken by his Department relative to the circumstances in which Leading-aircraftsman Ernest Arthur Dobbs met his death; whether the balloon manufacturers have admitted any liability as to Dobbs being in their service on the day in question; and is he satisfied that adequate precautions were taken at the balloon jumping trials?


As regards the first part of the question the usual Court of Inquiry has been held into this most unfortunate accident which took place at a private aerodrome and not at an Air Force station. As regards the second and last parts the airman was on leave and acting in a purely private capacity, and accordingly the Air Ministry has no locus standi concerning the liability of the firm in question, or responsibility in respect of any of the circumstances attending this fatality.

Colonel DAY

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether this aircraftsman was specially warned before he started on this experiment?


I could not say offhand, but so far as I remember we had no knowledge that he was going to undertake it. He was on leave.


In the right hon. Gentleman's opinion does this balloon jumping serve any useful purpose?


I answered that question in the House two or three days ago.