§ 88. Brigadier-General SPEARS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what is the composition of the British forces in Palestine; who commands them; and, if there is a mechanised force, what is its exact composition and from what units has it been drawn?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Philip Sassoon)
Palestine and Transjordan form one command for defence purposes, and the British forces consist of two Royal Air Force squadrons, one Royal Air Force armoured car company and two British infantry battalions. The Royal Air Force armoured car company consists of a headquarters and four sections of armoured cars. In addition, one company of the Transjordan Frontier Force, a locally recruited force commanded by British officers, is mechanised. The Air Officer Commanding, Palestine and Transjordan, is in operational command of all military forces in the two countries.
§ Brigadier-General SPEARS
Are we to understand that the Air Ministry has itself started independent mechanised forces?
Is the whole of this force paid out of British funds, or partly out of Palestine funds?
§ Mr. ATTLEE
Will the Under-Secretary tell us whether this is the beginning of a larger Air Force, and are we to have a complete, mechanised force, separate from the Army, under the Air Force?
§ Sir P. SASSOON
That question relates largely to matters of policy, which are not easily dealt with by question and answer.