HC Deb 05 November 1958 vol 594 cc917-8
3. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many aircraft have been damaged by time-bombs at the Royal Air Force station, Akrotiri, during the last twelve months; and the value of the aircraft written off and the cost of repairs.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

Five aircraft, valued at about £470,000, were written off after a fire in November, 1957. A Canberra damaged last month was flying again within a week and the cost of repairs is expected to be small.

Mr. de Freitas

I recognise the difficulties facing troops on service in Cyprus, but is not it very alarming that security should be so had that operational aircraft on operational airfields can be subject to these attacks? What is being done to improve security?

Mr. Ward

The Royal Air Force patrols at vulnerable points have been strengthened, and Cypriots have been replaced by British personnel as necessary. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to remember that a very large number of aircraft have been staging through Cyprus in recent weeks, and I think great credit is due to the security authorities for having prevented more incidents.