HC Deb 08 March 1961 vol 636 cc451-2
23. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for Air, in view of the decision of the United States Government within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to increase by prompt action their air-lift capacity, what steps he proposes to take to strengthen Transport Command.

Mr. J. Amery

As my hon. Friend will now have seen, the Air Estimates Memorandum sets out our plans for still further expanding our air-lift capacity.

Mr. Digby

While recognising that the Explanatory Statement puts a better light on this, will not my right hon. Friend bear in mind that one of the first actions of President Kennedy was to increase the air-lift capacity of the United States?

Mr. Amery

We are well alive to the importance of increasing air transport capacity, and if my hon. Friend will do me the honour of listening to what I have to say later this afternoon, I hope he may find that I am able to reassure him on that point.

Mr. Mulley

While appreciating that we shall be able to discuss this matter later this afternoon, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if that means that nothing further can be done than is indicated in the Estimates?

Mr. Amery

What is indicated in the Estimates already is a good deal, and the Estimates will also indicate that a good deal further is being done but about which I am not yet in a position to tell the House.

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