§ 89. Mr. Piratin
Asked the Under secretary of State for Air if he is aware that a notice was posted at aerodrome on 23rd November, signed by the senior meteorological officer on instructions from the wing-commander, to the effect that two Russian Dakotas, expected to arrive on the following day, were not to be given any meteorological information nor to be allowed to see the synoptic charts and adding that these instructions had been received from higher authority; on whose authority this notice was issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
§ Mr. Strachey
Yes, Sir. There was a misunderstanding with the Russians about the carriage of British mail from Berlin to Moscow, and it was intended to with hold take-off facilities to the Russian air craft in question until this business was settled. We have sometimes had to do the same thing to aircraft of other nationalities; and, of course, similar, or indeed more vigorous, measures are sometimes taken to withhold take-off facilities to our own aircraft while arrangements of this kind are under discussion. In this case, as a matter of fact, the matter in dispute was cleared up in good time and the Russian aircraft was cleared without let or hindrance. We have now discussed the whole matter with the Soviet Embassy and have come to an under standing which should prevent any similar situations from arising in the future.