HC Deb 12 February 1947 vol 433 c341
7. Flight-Lieutenant Crawley

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many gliders belonging to the R.A.F. have been destroyed since the end of the war.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Since the end of the war, 1,295 gliders belonging to the Royal Air Force have been declared surplus to our needs, and 982 have been scrapped on the authority of the Ministry of Supply.

Flight-Lieutenant Crawley

Is the Minister aware that these gliders are burnt outright in many cases and that they contain a lot of material which would be very useful if it were salvaged?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir; I will certainly look into it. About 300 gliders have been sold mostly for use as gliders. I am told that the great majority of, I believe, the rest are made of very hard laminated plywood which takes a great deal of labour to break down and is almost unsaleable even as firewood.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware whether these gliders which have been destroyed were serviceable gliders, and if so, was the Minister of Civil Aviation consulted before they were destroyed?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I. would not like fully to commit myself, but I feel sure that my noble Friend was consulted. I think that all that were usable for Service purposes or any purposes as gliders have been kept.

Mr. Sidney Shephard

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Air Training Corps had their demands supplied?

Mr. Noel-Baker

To the best of my belief that is so.