HC Deb 17 February 1943 vol 386 cc1713-4
21. Wing-Commander Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that semi-rigid airships were conspicuously successful in U-boat spotting in the last war; and whether consideration has been given to the use of this type of aircraft at the present time?

Sir A. Sinclair

I am aware that airships were used in the last war for the purpose referred to, and the question of using them in this war has been carefully considered. It would not be in the public interest to say more.

Wing-Commander Hulbert

Are the United States now using them?

Sir A. Sinclair

Yes, they are.

Commander Agnew

Is not the real need for a greater proportion of our aircraft of Coastal Command to work in co-operation with the Navy?

Sir A. Sinclair

The question relates to airships and there are no airships in Coastal Command.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

Is it not a fact that what is needed is specially-designed aircraft, which up to now have been refused for the Fleet Air Arm by the Air Ministry?

Sir A. Sinclair

No, Sir, the Air Ministry do not refuse aircraft to the Fleet Air Arm.