HC Deb 29 July 1959 vol 610 cc481-2
2. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the admiration felt in this country and abroad for the initiative, drive and organisation shown by members of the Royal Air Force in the recent London to Paris race; if he will list the units which have taken part in this exercise; and whether he will make a statement.

3. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will make a statement on the participation of the Royal Air Force in theDaily Mailair race.

Mr. Ward

The Royal Air Force team, under the control of Fighter Command, included three officers from R.A.F. Station Duxford and one officer cadet from the R.A.F. College, Cranwell. They obtained first and third places in the race. Their average time on completed runs between London and Paris was less than 44 minutes. The Hunter and helicopter pilots, motor cyclists and servicing, radar and airfield teams were drawn from a number of units from Commands at home and R.A.F. Germany.

I am grateful for this opportunity to refer to the success which was achieved and which reflects, I think, considerable credit on all the officers and airmen who took part.

Mr. de Freitas

Does the Secretary of State recognise that, since the age of the amateur in these things appears to have passed completely, there are many people who have a very great deal of admiration for the way a professional Service like this was able to take part in this race, giving such pleasure to many millions and also a sense of stimulation to itself?

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Secretary of State aware that those of us who have served in the Royal Air Force are very proud of the fact that the Royal Air Force has pulled this off, but when in future the Royal Air Force participates in such events, can the facilities be made more widely available?

Mr. Ward

We made our facilities available to anybody who wanted to use them.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will my right hon. Friend undertake to give the Royal Navy a few lessons on how to run these affairs?