HC Deb 21 March 1956 vol 550 c1215
1. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will now make a statement on the loss of the six Hunter aircraft which crashed in Norfolk on Wednesday, 8th February, 1956.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Nigel Birch)

The court of inquiry has reported and has shown that the accident was not due to aircraft failure. As a result of its recommendations and of the observations of senior officers upon them, certain summaries of evidence are to be taken.

I will make a further statement as soon as possible.

Mr. Stokes

While I am glad to know that there was nothing wrong with the aircraft, in view of the fact that, apart from the tragic loss of life, this accident entailed the loss of £750,000 or thereabouts in aircraft, will the Minister say whether he is now satisfied that the air conditions were such that the aircraft ought to have been sent up? Secondly, will the Minister assure the House that the diversion stations had been preselected and were properly ready to deal with the situation?

Mr. Birch

The right hon. Gentleman's questions are both extremely relevant but, as the case is sub judice, I would rather not comment on them at this stage.