HC Deb 22 July 1959 vol 609 cc1253-4
13 and 14. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) the cost to public funds to date of facilities provided for participants in the Daily Mail Air Race;

(2) what facilities have been made available by his Department for participants in the Daily Mail Air Race; and how they have been allocated.

Mr. Ward

The Royal Air Force has entered its own team for this race, and has taken part with the Army in two joint entries, as part of Service training. Incidental costs have amounted to about £800. The airfields at Biggin Hill and Northolt have been made available to other competitors, and aircraft used by Marine and Army teams have been serviced, without extra cost to Air Votes.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will the Secretary of State convey the congratulations of the House to the men who have been successfully engaged in this adventure? However, as there has been quite a lot of public money involved in helping to advertise the Daily Mail, what does the Secretary of State intend to do with the prize money?

Mr. Ward

I am delighted to inform the hon. Gentleman that only a few hours ago the Royal Air Force once again took first place in the race with a time of 40 minutes, 44 seconds, but as we have not yet won the race—it goes on until tomorrow night—I am afraid that it is a purely hypothetical question to ask what we would do with the money if we won it.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the whole country except a few acidulated spoil-sports will welcome the attitude taken by his Department?

Mr. Ward

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. It would be very difficult to devise a better exercise for the Services.