§ 46. Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
asked the Prime Minister whether the programme of work recently announced on behalf of His Majesty's Government at Geneva indicates any change in air disarmament policy; whether he will give an assurance that, in intimating their desire to see a thorough examination by the principal air Powers of the practicability or otherwise of the abolition of air forces and bombing, His Majesty's Government adhere to the reservation formulated in the White Paper issued last November in respect of police work in outlying places, where the humanity, efficiency, and economy of the use of aircraft has been finally established by the experience of the past decade; and whether the practical and immediate objective of His Majesty's Government remains to secure 351 a reduction of the air forces of the leading Powers to the British level, to be followed by a further all-round reduction of one-third and a limitation on the un-laden weight of military and naval aircraft?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. In the Programme of Work which the United Kingdom Delegation have circulated to other delegations at Geneva, His Majesty's Government have simply suggested the constitution of a committee of representatives of the principal air Powers to carry out the examination they had already proposed in the statement presented to the Bureau on 17th November. With regard to the second part of the question, I would explain to my hon. and gallant Friend that in the view of His Majesty's Government the proper place for putting forward the reservation formulated in the White Paper issued last November in respect of police work in outlying places, is the Committee of Air Powers. The constitution of this committee as soon as possible is one of the objects of the British Programme of Work. The reply to the third part of the question is in the affirmative.