HC Deb 25 May 1938 vol 336 cc1205-6
52. Mr. Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will arrange for representatives of local authorities to be invited to Cardington on Empire Air Day to witness a demonstration of the London balloon-barrage?

Sir K. Wood

Typical balloons of the London barrage organisation will be flown at the Royal Air Force Station, Carding-ton, on Empire Air Day. The Commanding Officer will be glad to welcome representatives of the local authorities on this occasion.

Mr. Gallacher

Did not one of the balloons get burst on Monday night?

53. Mr. Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air what is the total number of officers and men recruited to date for the London balloon-barrage squadrons?

Sir K. Wood

Recruiting of the Auxiliary Air Force personnel for the balloon-barrage squadrons opened on the 16th instant. Commanding Officers have been appointed to six squadrons and a considerable number of applications for appointment to commissions have been received and are under consideration. Enlistment of airmen is proceeding, and by the 20th instant 123 forms of attestation had been lodged.

Captain A. Evans

How many officers and men are still required and what are the maximum and minimum ages?

Sir K. Wood

Perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend would be good enough to put that question on the Paper.

54. Mr. Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air when it is proposed to afford balloon-barrage protection for important provincial cities as well as London?

Sir K. Wood

As the House has been lately informed, it is intended that some experience should be gained in the development of a balloon barrage in the London area before any decisions are taken with regard to its extension to other parts of the country. I am giving the matter my personal attention, but I fear that I cannot promise to arrive at a conclusion immediately, as this forms a part of a general consideration of the methods of defence against air attack.