HC Deb 19 March 1958 vol 584 c1254
25. Mr. Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Air if, because of the dangerous incidents it could cause, he will stop sending British aircraft over the east-west frontier in Europe.

Mr. Ward

No, Sir. Transport and communications flights to Eastern Europe must continue as necessary under the existing well-established procedures.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware that I have met the author of the Oxford Isis article describing these operations and that he is an ex-Service man who was himself trained for this kind of work? Is he aware that this article states that there is a chain of British station monitoring signals between Russian ground staff and pilots and that to test Russian tactical reaction British planes are actually sent across the frontier at low level and that these planes have even been forced down? Could not this kind of provocation—this crazy provocation—spark off a new war?

Mr. Ward

This really is very wide indeed of the Question on the Order Paper. Flights of aircraft to and from Eastern Europe—which is the subject of the Question—have to get clearance under an internationally agreed air traffic control procedure, and there are stringent instructions to prevent the penetration of the frontier by any other aircraft.