HC Deb 07 July 1942 vol 381 cc634-5
43. Major Milner

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether any use has been, or is being, made of the Mayo Composite Aircraft for the swift transport of fighters?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

The possible application of the Mayo principle has been considered from time to time, but other methods have been found more suitable for the purpose to which the hon. and gallant Member refers.

Major Milner

Why has this invention not been used, having regard to the great necessity for mobility of fighter squadrons? Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this British invention has been well tried out and proved, and why is it not used in present circumstances?

Captain Balfour

To build or to modify aircraft specially for one particular purpose when that purpose can be achieved by readier methods would not be economical. This principle has been considered on many occasions by technical experts, in conjunction with the Air Staff, who know the operational requirements, and if my hon. and gallant Friend wants any further information, I shall be glad to give him further technical details.

Mr. Levy

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that this sidestepping of British inventions which are of benefit is detrimental to the scientific people, who realise that whatever they do to help the war effort is being sidestepped in some way or other?

Mrs. Tate

Is not the Mayo aircraft a perfectly idiotic invention?

Captain Balfour

I think the hon. Lady has in part answered the Supplementary Questions. The invention is an admirable one for a particular purpose, but not for the purpose suggested in the Question.