HC Deb 27 January 1937 vol 319 cc927-9
28. Mr. Cecil Wilson

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the length of time which during the War elapsed between the first local warning of the approach of aircraft to London and to Sheffield, respectively; and what these times are likely to be in the event of war?

Sir P. Sassoon

Based on typical examples of aeroplane attacks by day and by night, the time elapsing between first warning and actual attack in the London area was about 45 minutes. In the attacks made by airships the warning period was considerably longer. Sheffield was not attacked by aeroplanes. It was bombed once by an airship, and on this occasion a preliminary warning was given about three and a-half hours before the bombs fell. Since the War the speed of aircraft has much increased, but I think it would be undesirable in the public interest to speculate on the amount of warning which would be feasible under modern defence conditions.

Sir Gifford Fox

How will the public know whether there has been a warning or not?

Sir P. Sassoon

There will, of course, be an organisation for this object.

Sir G. Fox

How would the ordinary individual person know what the warning was?

35. Sir Hugh Seely

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the licence to manufacture the balloons required for the barrage defence of London against aerial attack has yet been acquired by His Majesty's Government?

Sir P. Sassoon

The balloons ordered for this purpose are in course of manufacture; no question of licence was involved.

Mr. Montague

What other towns besides London are scheduled for barrage?

Sir P. Sassoon

I should require notice of that question.

Sir H. Seely

Why was no question of licence involved when it was said that the licences for these things were to be delivered by the New Year?

Sir P. Sassoon

I do not know to what statement the hon. Baronet is referring. No licence is needed for the balloons which are in course of manufacture in this country.

54. Mr. C. Wilson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any scheme of insurance against air raids has been prepared or is in contemplation; and, if so, how soon it can be made public?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Dr. Burgin)

I cannot add to the answer which I gave on 25th January to the hon. Member for North Tottenham (Mr. R. C. Morrison).

Mr. Wilson

My question does not refer to what outside authorities are doing, but whether the Board of Trade is taking any action in the matter at all?

Dr. Burgin

On the 25th of this month, that is Monday of this week, an answer was given dealing with the particular question of insurance against air raids, to a question identical with that which the hon. Member has, asked to-day. I would refer him to that reply, to which I can add nothing.

Mr. Wilson

I have that question before me now, and it does not give any answer at all.