HC Deb 19 December 1929 vol 233 cc1629-30

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he can give the House any information with reference to the accident to the long-distance-flight machine and the death of the two pilots?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)

I am not yet in a position to add materially to the information which has already been made public about this most regrettable disaster. The reports so far received from His Majesty's Consul-General in Tunis merely state that the machine crashed in the hills some 30 miles south of Tunis, the weather at the time being both cloudy and stormy, and that Squadron Leader Jones-Williams and Flight Lieut. Jenkins were both killed. A military guard has been placed over the machine and the Consul-General left at dawn this morning for the scene of the accident with a view to obtaining the fullest possible information and bringing the bodies of the dead officers to the Military Hospital in Tunis.

The Air Ministry have already despatched a technical officer to Tunis, in order that the fullest expert inquiry practicable may be made on the spot. Pending receipt of his report no cause can be assigned to the accident. I should like to add that the responsible French authorities have given the greatest possible assistance. I am sure the whole House will join with me in deploring the loss of the lives of two gallant officers of such outstanding promise and in conveying to their relatives an expression of our most profound sympathy.