HC Deb 17 December 1942 vol 385 cc2073-4
70. Mr. Purbrick

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he has received any substantial number of dive-bombers manufactured in England since the end of 1940; and whether the Air Council still considers dive-bombers as obsolete or of only secondary importance?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

The answer to the first part of the Question is that aircraft of this type for the Royal Air Force are being produced in America. As for the second part, I would remind the hon. Member that, as I said in my Estimates Speech of 4th. March, dive-bombers were ordered at a time when all the operational evidence was in favour of the dive-bomber. I added that since then operational conditions had changed, but that nevertheless the Air Staff hoped to find good use for this type. I have nothing to add to the statement which I then made, except to say that recent operations have increasingly shown the advantages possessed by the fighter bomber and light bomber over the dive-bomber.

Mr. Cocks

When will these dive-bombers come into operation, or have they come into operation?

Sir A. Sinclair

No, Sir, but the fighter bomber has been in very effective operation.