HC Deb 03 November 1943 vol 393 cc640-1
16. Mr. Purbrick

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many acres of housing property have been destroyed in Germany since March, 1943, by Allied bombing attacks, and how many were destroyed by German air attacks in this country in 1940 and 1941?

Sir A. Sinclair

My hon. Friend has been good enough to inform me that by "housing property" he means all built-up property, including factories and industrial plants. Comprehensive statistics of this character are not available, but the photographic and other evidence shows beyond doubt that the area destroyed in Germany as a result of Allied bombing in the six months ended September last was many times greater than that inflicted on this country by all the German air attacks of 1940 and 1941.

Mr. Purbrick

In view of the fact that our bombing is discriminatory and that we seek only industrial targets, whereas the German bombers over this country go for civilian targets in a large percentage of cases, do not those figures afford further proof of the desirability of concentrating our heavy bombers and those of the United States Army here on destroying the war production of the enemy?

Mr. McGovern

Is there any reason to believe the figures given at the week-end, showing that through the bombing of Germany over 1,000 civilians lost their lives?

Sir A. Sinclair

If the statement was given out by my Department, it is bound to be true. With regard to the first supplementary question, certainly all our bombing attacks are directed to the destruction and dislocation of the German war machine.