HC Deb 11 December 1929 vol 233 cc450-1
49. Major GLYN

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what sum of money has been expended to date on the air base at Singapore; what is the estimated further expenditure required to complete the base; whether the object of this new base is the defence of the naval base or has an independent objective; what is the proposed strength of the Air Force to be maintained perma- nently at Singapore; and whether any change has been made as a result of the decision of the Admiralty to suspend further work on the naval base?


As regards the first two parts of the question, the amount expended to date on the air base at Singapore is approximately £270,000, and the sum required for its completion, £300,000. As regards the third part, the facilities which are being provided will serve, not only for local defence, but also for the maintenance of British air communications in the Far East, and for the shore training and repair of equipment of air units allocated to naval forces in those waters. As regards the fourth part, the strength of the Air Forces which will be normally maintained at Singapore as at present contemplated, is one squadron of land machines and one squadron of flying boats. These numbers are exclusive of any Fleet Air Arm units which may from time to time be disembarked there. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Major GLYN

Does the hon. Gentleman's answer mean that any alterations in the policy of His Majesty's Government do not affect previous arrangements made by the Air Ministry?


My answer is complete in that respect. So far as there may be alterations, they will be purely of a detailed character.

Commander WILLIAMS

Does the hon. Gentleman's first answer apply to the Navy as well as to the Air?


I cannot speak for the Navy.