§ 14. Mr. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the disquiet felt in the Royal Air Force at the present state of Coastal Command; and whether he will make a statement on its future.
Coastal Command, like other R.A.F. Commands, is smaller than it was, but its present state is one of high efficiency in regard to both equipment and training. The Command has demonstrated this with distinction in recent years not only in its primary maritime role but also in its transport and colonial policing activities.
1047 I have every confidence that this high state of efficiency will be maintained in the future.
§ Mr. de Freitas
Will the Secretary of State comment on the allegation that the Air Council is treating this Command as a poor relation and is not giving it the resources which it needs, because it is about to be transferred to the Royal Navy?
We certainly have never treated it like a poor relation. I believe it is the best equipped maritime force in the world. As to the second pant of the supplementary question, I have seen certain speculation in the Press, but I am sure the hon. Gentleman would not wish me to comment on that.