HC Deb 12 March 1931 vol 249 cc1390-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the report upon R 101 has yet been received by the Ministry; and when it will be published?

91. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the loss of R 101 will be at the disposal of Members before the Air Estimates are discussed; and, if not, when he expects the report to be available?

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

The report has not yet been received by the Air Ministry, but I understand that it is complete and in the hands of the printers, save for a section dealing with the experiments carried cut recently at the National Physical Laboratory. As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Wells) on 25th February, these experiments are considered to be of material value, and my Noble Friend concurs with the Court of Inquiry in thinking that the report ought to include a reference to their results. On this basis my Noble Friend is informed that the Court hope that the report will be available for publication by the end of the month.


Will the hon. Member represent to his Noble Friend that it would be extremely desirable if it is possible that this report should be available before the Air Estimates are taken on Report stage even if it cannot be available for Committee stage?


My Noble Friend is not responsible for the date at which the report will be presented.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Could not the part of the Air Estimates dealing with airships be postponed until we have this very important document?


May I again ask the hon. Member if he will represent to his Noble Friend that it will be very difficult for this House to part with the Air Estimates on the Report stage without having had an opportunity of considering this matter, and that as the major portion of the report is already available it is very desirable that the whole report should be matte available for Members here.


It will of course, be possible to discuss the report on one of the later Supply days.


Will the Under-Secretary give an undertaking that the Report stage of the Estimates will not be taken until the report is in the hands of hon. Members provided that it is issued before 30th March.


I cannot give such an undertaking.