HC Deb 23 February 1955 vol 537 cc1250-1
5. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Defence what machinery exists in his Department for the allocation of aircraft between the three Services.

Mr. H. Macmillan

No formal machinery exists, nor does it seem necessary. If any particular problem arose, my Department would deal with it, in consultation with the Departments concerned, as part of its normal function of allocating resources.

Mr. Wyatt

Would not it help in assisting to sort out the muddle in defence which the Minister has been brought in to clear up if there were some central authority which could evaluate new aircraft for all three Services so that we could avoid a situation in which the Royal Air Force object to the D.H. 110 and it is then accepted by the Navy, although regarded by the Royal Air Force as being unable to meet the conditions of modern warfare?

Mr. Macmillan

I will consider the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman, like any other, but I do not think that any kind of formal machinery of this kind is required. The Ministry of Defence and the Service Departments work together for this purpose.

Mr. Shinwell

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of his primary functions is to allocate equipment as between the three Services?

Mr. Macmillan

Certainly, it is part of the normal function of my Department to allocate resources. That is why I do not think—although I will consider the point—that any special kind of machinery is required for that purpose.

Mr. Strachey

Should not the Minister be pleased that no formal machinery exists to allocate the aircraft, as no aircraft exist either?