HC Deb 11 March 1942 vol 378 c1030
6. Mr. Evelyn Walkden

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many fighter aeroplanes we had in reserve at the conclusion of the Battle of Britain?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

My hon. Friend will not expect me to give a detailed answer to this Question, but I can assure him that an appreciable reserve of fighter aircraft was available for immediate action at the conclusion of the Battle of Britain.

Mr. Walkden

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the danger and mischief that are created by such a person as an air commodore who opened a War Weapons Week and declared that we had only nine and that he had good reason for saying so? That is the actual claim he made. Why was publicity given to it?

Sir A. Sinclair

My hon. Friend's Question brought this speech to my notice, and I made inquiries about it.

Mr. Walkden

Will the Minister take disciplinary action?

Sir Herbert Williams

What was the result of the inquiry?

Sir A. Sinclair

I have only just made the inquiry.

Sir H. Williams

Do I understand that there is no organisation in the Air Ministry which reads the Press to find out what has been said?

Sir A. Sinclair

No doubt there is.

Mr. Walkden

Will disciplinary action be taken against this officer?

Sir A. Sinclair

We must await the result of the inquiry.

Sir Patrick Hannon

Is there not far too much publicity given to facts which should be kept secret?