HC Deb 02 June 1954 vol 528 cc1275-6
40. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what consideration has been given to the utilisation of helicopters in the Colonies for transport work, surveying, spraying and dusting of crops, forest fire patrols and many other uses; and if he will give consideration to the appointment of an aviation adviser.

Mr. Lyttelton

The possibility of the use of helicopters for civil purposes in the Colonies has been kept under review. They are much more expensive than other types of aircraft. For reasons of safety, twin-engined helicopters would generally be required, but no twin-engined machines have yet been granted a certificate of airworthiness. In these circumstances, it is not considered that in the present state of their development it would be desirable to employ helicopters in the Colonies for the purposes mentioned by the hon. Member. As I can obtain technical advice from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, the Air Ministry and the Ministry of Supply, it is neither necessary nor desirable that I should have a separate aviation adviser.

Mr. Dodds

What a shocking answer to give about helicopters. Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that there is a firm in this country which has been using helicopters for spraying for the last eight years? Does he not appreciate that in America the Post Office has made 40,000 flights from the top of a building in Chicago without any trouble? Does he not know that the Royal Navy has been using helicopters to bring wounded out of the Malayan jungle? Will he not get up to date? Does he still think he does not want an adviser?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Gentleman seems more eager to impart information than to elicit it.

Forward to