§ Mr. VIANT
asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will give the cost incurred in reconditioning the R 33 prior to April last; for these experimental purposes, what was the cost of one charge of hydrogen gas; the cost, including fittings, of the scientific instruments on the airship; the cost of civilian labour employed in getting the airship out of her base at Cardington on 2nd April last and finally into the hangar at Pulham on 17th April; and the cost of repairing the mast at Pulham?
§ Sir S. HOARE
The answer to the first part of the question is £28,800; to the second, approximately, £1,000; and to the third, £521. As regards the fourth part of the question, the cost of the civilian labour for the two operations referred to was £66 and £193 respectively, the latter sum including payment of a party which stood by for part of the night. As regards the last part of the question, as the repairs have not yet been carried out and as they may embody various improvements which are under consideration, it is not possible to state the cost involved.
§ Mr. VIANT
asked the Secretary of State for Air what service is being performed by the existing British airship fleet (excluding the R 33 now under repair); what voyages have been undertaken since 1921 by the R 37, R 80, L 64, and L 71; what was the original cost of the R vessels, R 33, R 34, R 35, R 36, R 37, and R 38; by whom were these airships constructed; and what is the total mileage of the flights of each airship?
§ Sir S. HOARE
As regards the first part of the question, the only airships in existence are the R 33 and R 36: these two airships are being reconditioned for aerodynamic and semi-tropical trials in connection with the airship programme. As regards the second part, no voyages have been undertaken by the airships referred to since 1921, flying operations by airships having been suspended in that year. As regards the third part, the2044W approximate cost of the R 33, R 34, and R 36 was £350,000 each. The R 35 and R 37 were not completed, and the approximate expenditure upon them was £75,000 and £325,000 respectively. The cost of the R 38 was chargeable in part to the American Government, and exchange fluctuations make it difficult to give a figure, but the cost may be taken as approximately £500,000. As regards the fourth part of the question, the R 33 and R 35 were constructed by Messrs. Armstrong, the R 34 and R 36 by Messrs. Beardmore, the R 37 by Messrs. Short Bros, and the Royal Airship Works, Cardington, and the R 38 by the Royal Airship Works, Cardington. As regards the last part, the hours flown by R 33, R 34, R 36, and R 38 were 800, 500, 97, and 70 respectively. No flying was done by the R 35 and R 37.