HC Deb 11 March 1931 vol 249 cc1190-1
25. Lieut.-Colonel GAULT

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what are the establishments and total number of machines in their respective categories, bombers, general purpose and Army co-operation, and fighters, of the following countries: France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the United States of America and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics?


With the hon. and gallant Member's permission, I will circulate the reply, which is rather long and contains figures in tabulated form, in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

As regards the Royal Air Force, the present first-line establishment is approximately 790 aircraft; or, divided by categories—bombers and general purpose aircraft 348, Army co-operation machines 120, fighters 156, flying boats 25, Fleet Air Arm 141.

Owing to differences in statistical methods and to other factors such as fluctuations in strength, which occur from time to time, it is difficult to supply precisely comparable figures for the other countries specified in the question, but the following table, based on the latest information available, gives the approximate total figures:

Country. First-line Strength.
France 1,320
Italy (including a temporary excess of about 100 aircraft over normal establishments) 1,100
United Stated of America 1,050
Union of Social Soviet Republics 1,000

Under the Treaty of Versailles the armed forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces.

The official information at my disposal does not enable me accurately to subdivide the above totals between the categories mentioned in the question, but the hon. and gallant Member will find some relevant information in the Armaments Year Book published by the League of Nations.