§ 24. Mr. PERKINS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that the Inspector of Accidents of the Air Ministry stated on 9th March, during the inquest at Alexandria on the victims of the "City of Khartoum," that the primary cause of this accident was shortage of petrol, and for what reason petrol was removed from the machine before the take-off; and whether he is taking any action to prevent Imperial Airways from working on such a narrow margin of safety in view of the evidence given by the Inspector of Accidents?
§ Sir P. SASSOON
As regards the first part of the question, I shall not be in a position to make any statement as to the circumstances until my Noble Friend has received the report of the Inspector of Accidents on his investigation. As regards the second part, Imperial Airways have (with Air Ministry approval) increased the tankage of the two sister flying-boats to the "City of Khartoum" now in service in the Mediterranean, thus allowing a larger margin of safety.
§ Sir P. SASSOON
As the House knows, the policy usually followed has been to publish only the conclusions of the Inspector of Accidents because if a full report were published it would inevitably hamper investigations and restrict their scope. My Noble Friend is satisfied that it is better that that policy should be maintained, but in the special circumstances of this case he has decided that the full report should, exceptionally, be made public.
§ Mr. SIMMONDS
Has my right hon. Friend noticed that the Inspector of Accidents said at the inquest that he had not yet all the technical information he desired and in view of that statement will he change his proposal not to make strenuous efforts to raise and inspect the hull?
§ Mr. EVERARD
Can my right hon. Friend say whether any of the Calcutta type of aircraft are at present used on this service?