§ 10 and 11. Mr. Henderson Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) whether any order of priority has been laid down for the tasks of bomber aircraft; and what steps have been taken to 747 make mobile the heavy bomber force now being assembled in this country so that it may be used when necessary in support of the Army and Navy in other theatres of war;
(2) whether, in view of the comparative failure of our torpedo-carrying aircraft to sink enemy warships and the inadequate protection from the air now afforded to British convoys, what steps are being taken, in association with America, to divert aircraft now set aside for the bombing of Germany to these urgent tasks?
§ Sir A. Sinclair
I regret that it would not be in the public interest to give the information for which my hon. Friend asks.
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the considerable public uneasiness as to whether our ground forces in Libya were adequately supported by bomber attacks during and prior to the fight? Cannot he give some assurance on that point?
§ Sir A. Sinclair
I am aware that there was some public uneasiness during the early stages of the battle, but I am also aware that that uneasiness has been removed by the admirable despatches which newspaper correspondents have sent from Cairo and the explanation given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in this House. There is no doubt that the story of the fight of the Royal Air Force in Libya is a glorious story.
I am sorry to press this, but it is precisely because of the apparent difference in the situation since the Censure Debate and before it that one is made more uneasy. I think it is in the interests of this House that I should raise this matter at an early stage on the Adjournment.