HC Deb 06 February 1957 vol 564 cc419-20
17. Mr. Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Air, in view of the fact that fighter aircraft are useless against long-range missiles, if he will reduce Fighter Command as a step towards scrapping it; and if he will state the approximate total annual saving in manpower and money which abolition would secure.

Mr. Ward

Fighter aircraft are effective against manned bombers, which will threaten us for a long time yet. It would not be in the public interest to disclose the proportion of our resources devoted to particular commands of the Royal Air Force.

Mr. Allaun

Since both America and Russia now possess guided rockets, and since the main rôle of fighters is in interception, is there any need for all this money and manpower going down the grid on defence which is no defence?

Mr. Ward

I can only repeat what I said—that we still have to defend ourselves, and will have to do so for some years to come, against manned bombers.

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