§ Sir S. HOARE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he will give the figures in percentages of increase or reduction of the Air Estimates for the last five years in the United States of America, France, and Italy; the strengths in first-line machines for each of these years and the corresponding British figure; and any increase in the number of units projected by these countries in the Estimates of this year?
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
(1) The following table shows the approximate percentages of increase or reduction in air expenditure for the year 1930 as compared with the year 1925 in the case of Great Britain, the United States of America, France and Italy:
Country and percentages of increase or reduction iu air expenditure in 1930 as compared with 1925. Per cent. Great Britain … … - 2 U.S A. … … … + 140 France … … … + 114 Italy … … … + 31
(2) Owing to differences in statistical methods and other factors, such as the fluctuations in strength which occur from time to time, it is difficult to supply strictly comparable figures for the numbers of first-line machines maintained by this country and the other countries specified in the question for each of the last five years.
The following table, however, gives the approximate figures, based on the latest official and other information available, in the years 1925 and 1930 respectively:
Country. First-line strength in 1925. First-line strength in 1930. Great Britain … 630 780 France … … 1,280 1,310 U.S.A. … 750 950 Italy … … 600 1,100
(NOTE.—The figure of 1,10) for the Italian Air Force is understood to be a temporary excess over normal establishment, which is in the neighbourhood of 1,000.)
(3) The following new regular squadrons or equivalent units are likely to be formed during the current year
Country. Number of squadrons due to form in 1930. Correspondind number of firstline machines. Great Britain 2 16 U.S.A. … 4 24 France … 4½ 48 Italy … No information available. No information available.
(NOTE.—In addition, one non-regular squadron of 12 machines is to be formed in this country during 1930.)