HC Deb 14 July 1943 vol 391 cc171-2
12. Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that, in the recent raid on a town, of which he has been informed, anti-aircraft guns did not open fire until the raid had been in progress for some considerable time; and, in view of this, whether he will take steps to improve the lialson between Fighter Command and the anti-aircraft guns?

Sir A. Sinclair

The guns were in action within our minutes of the beginning of the attack. The delay was due not to inadequate liaison between Fighter Command and the anti-aircraft guns but to the need for extreme care owing to the presence of our own aircraft in the area.

Mr. Muff

Is my right hon. Friend taking any steps to see that there is co-operation between the Air Ministry and the sounding of the air-raid warning?

Sir A. Sinclair

No, Sir, I do not think that co-operation could be closer; but there is a real difficulty when hostile aircraft come over an area where our own friendly aircraft are operating, more particularly when they do so in small numbers.

Sir A. Lambert Ward

Would it not be advisable to instruct our own aircraft not to come in over a city like Hull, which is constantly in danger of enemy raids, so that the guns could at once open fire on enemy aircraft?

Sir A. Sinclair

I do not think my hon. and gallant Friend realises how large is the area to be protected and that there must be large numbers of aircraft operating up and down such an important part of the coast as the Hull area.