HC Deb 14 March 1951 vol 485 cc1532-3
41. Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will make a statement on the take-over of the Princess flying boat project by the Royal Air Force.

Mr. A. Henderson

It has been decided that the three Princess flying boats should be completed for the Royal Air Force. Each boat will have the equivalent lift of one Hastings squadron, and they will, therefore, be a most valuable addition to our transport resources in time of war.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us whether he is proceeding with any other long-term projects for the development of flying boats? It is felt in this country that we have a considerable amount of operational and manufacturing "know-how" which should not be concentrated on one project only.

Mr. Henderson

The hon. Gentleman will remember that that matter was discussed in the Estimates debate.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman say when he expects these flying boats to be delivered to the Royal Air Force?

Mr. Henderson

The first one will be completed towards the end of this year.

Mr. Morley

On what port will those flying boats be based when they are in operation? On Southampton?

Mr. Henderson

I am sorry I cannot promise that Southampton will necessarily be one of the bases, but this matter is under consideration.