HC Deb 05 July 1923 vol 166 cc652-3W

asked the Prime Minister whether he proposes to address direct invitations to France, Italy, and America for a conference on the limitation of air forces or whether America has indicated its willingness to call such a conference?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer which I gave on the 2nd instant to the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Morel), which applies equally to a conference limited to a few Powers. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can give for Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany the following particulars: the number of squadrons in the Air Force, and the average number of machines per squadron, distinguishing, if possible, the types of squadron, the number of civilian machines certified as airworthy, the amount of money voted for the air service in each of the last three financial years for which the information is available, and the total personnel of the air service, distinguishing between flying officers and other ranks and the remainder of the personnel?

Sir S. HOARE: Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany is prohibited from possessing an air force, and as regards Italy, the whole air force of that country is in a process of re-organisation. I am, therefore, obliged to confine my answer, except so far as concerns civil aviation, to Great Britain and France.

In reply to the first and fourth parts of the question, the figures for this country are as follow: Number of squadrons, 36⅔; number of machines per squadron, 10 to 12; the total number of officers in the Royal Air Force is 2,990, of whom by far the greater number may be classed as flying personnel. The number of airmen is 26,835.

As regards France, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave to the right hon. Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) on the 28th February last and to the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon) on the 28th March last.

In reply to the second part of the question, the number of British registered aeroplanes possessing certificates of airworthiness is 100. No similar information is available as regards France, Italy or Germany.

As regards the third part of the question, as far as Great Britain is concerned, I would refer the hon. gallant Member to the Air Estimates As regards France, it is impossible to give the total figures voted on account of Air Services, as a great part of these are included in other Votes, from which it is impossible to extricate them.