HC Deb 10 March 1938 vol 332 cc2104-5
49. Mr. Simmonds

asked the Prime Minister whether this country has now reached air parity, as defined by himself, with the strongest Power within striking distance or, alternatively, the date by which such parity is estimated to be obtained?

The Prime Minister

I gave no definition of parity. Indeed, I gave reasons which showed how impossible it is to frame any definition that is not misleading. The policy of the Government is to create an Air Force of such character and size as, having regard to all relevant circumstances, including the nature of our war problems and the extent and availability of our aggregated resources, will constitute an effective instrument for our purpose. They are satisfied that their plans are calculated to give effect to this policy.

Mr. Simmonds

Will the Prime Minister say whether, within this general parity our present inferiority in first-line air strength is a passing phase which His Majesty's Government are rectifying, or is it now their considered policy for the early future?

Mr. Attlee

In view of the difficulties of arriving at the meaning of "parity," can the Prime Minister say how his predecessor was able to talk about it so freely?