§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the total amount expended on airship development since 1920, together with the amount which would be saved during the current financial year if the airship branch of the Royal Air Force were disbanded forthwith?
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
As regards the first part of the question, the total expenditure on airship development from 1920 up to 31st March, 1931, was approximately £2,410,000, all but a small portion being expenditure on the airship programme commenced in 1924. As regards the second part, provision for a net expenditure of £50,000 has been made in the current estimates. A decision to close Cardington down would not result in an immediate cessation of all expenditure, and the probability is that after making the necessary terminal payments there would not be a very material saving out of the year's provision.