HC Deb 28 January 1959 vol 598 cc1051-2
22. Mr. G. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether it is now the intention to retain Valetta and Hastings aircraft in Transport Command, in addition to the Beverleys, Britannias, Comets, and A.W.660's; and for how long.

Mr. Ward

As I explained last week, the A.W.660 is to be introduced to supplement the Beverleys and Hastings at present in service. Both the Beverley and the Hastings have still some years of useful life ahead of them. The Valetta has been withdrawn from service in Transport Command and Middle East Air Force, and is gradually being withdrawn from service elsewhere overseas.

Mr. Brown

Does not the Minister feel that the addition of yet one more aeroplane to this long list of those which Transport Command has to handle must increase enormously the costs, the difficulties of maintenance and the dumps of supplies that have to be held all over the place? Does not he think that it would make the job of Transport Command much easier if he could bring in some degree of concentration?

Mr. Ward

Of course, the introduction of a new type of aircraft always gives rise to problems, but that does not mean that they cannot be overcome. They present no reason for getting rid of aircraft which are still useful and economical, nor are they a reason for not taking more advanced types of aircraft when we can.

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