Mr. R. SMITH
asked the Secretary of State for Air, arising out of the reaffirmation by the Imperial Conference of the view of defence, namely, the necessity for the maintenance by Great Britain of a home defence air force of sufficient strength to give adequate protection against air attack by the strongest air force within striking distance of her shores, whether he can state what size of air force, in comparison with the strongest neighbouring air force, is adequate for this purpose?
§ Sir S. HOARE
The programme for the expansion of the Royal Air Force for home defence—which I may remind the hon. Member was approved by the late Government as well as its predecessor, so that it has been endorsed by three successive Administrations—aims at the creation of a force of 52 squadrons in the first instance, this being the strength recommended by the Sub-Committee on National and Imperial Defence of 1923.