HC Deb 18 June 1941 vol 372 c626
16. Mr. Lipson

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether, in view of recent events in Crete, he can give an assurance that all possible steps are being taken to expand and speed up the proposals for the establishment of a powerful British air-borne force?

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Richard Law)

I have been asked to reply. The lessons of Crete have been studied in detail, particularly with regard to the use of air-borne forces. My hon. Friend will appreciate, however, that it would not be in the public interest to divulge the policy at present being pursued with regard to the expansion of our own air-borne force.

Mr. Lipson

Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that there is close co-operation between the War Office and the Air Ministry in this matter, and that the difficulties which existed prior to the Cretan episode in respect of the establishment of this air-borne force have now been removed?

Mr. Law

Yes, there is the closest possible co-operation.

Mr. Shinwell

But does the hon. Member realise that it is in the public interest that we should have definite guarantees that effective action is being taken?

Mr. Law

The lessons of Crete have been learned, and are being inwardly digested. I do not think it would be proper to show the digestive processes at work.

Mr. Shinwell

Is inward digestion appropriate to the circumstances? Cannot we have something more than mere digestion?