HC Deb 30 November 1938 vol 342 c418
65. Mr. R. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether adequate hangar accommodation is provided for Imperial Airways liners at Croydon airport?

Captain Balfour

The existing hangar accommodation at Croydon is, I regret, not adequate for the whole of Imperial Airways fleet and from three to five large aircraft have had to be moored in the open. This situation is due partly to the uncertainty which prevailed until recently regarding the future of the London airports, and partly to the fact that the location of the marine and land bases for the Empire air services could only finally be decided last summer. When negotiations were successfully concluded with the Southampton harbour authorities for the provision of the marine base at Southampton, arrangements had to be made to house at Croydon the land aircraft required for the Empire air services. Authority was immediately obtained to erect the additional hangars, and these will be available in April next.

Mr. Perkins

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Ensign air liner which is now being delivered, was ordered over five years ago, and surely his Department must have realised the necessity for providing this accommodation during that five years?

Captain Balfour

The expectation and the hope at that time was that the land base and the marine base should be combined adjacent to Portsmouth. Unfortunately, that scheme could not be implemented, and it was decided in July last that Southampton should be the marine base, which brought about a new situation as regards the necessity of finding another land aerodrome for the Ensign air liner.