Oral Answers to Questions — Aeroplanes (Gifts to Oversea Dominions).

– in the House of Commons on 5th June 1919.

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Photo of Lieutenant Alfred Raper Lieutenant Alfred Raper , Islington East

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry if he can now state how many surplus aeroplanes now in possession of the Air Ministry, and under what conditions, will be presented as a free gift to the Dominions, India, and the Crown Colonies?

Photo of Major-General John Seely Major-General John Seely , Ilkeston

I am glad to say that His Majesty's Government have approved a proposal of the Air Council that a gift of aeroplanes should be made to each Dominion and to India, and that corresponding action should be taken in the case of any Colonial Government or Protectorate requiring machines. The object of His Majesty's Government is to assist the Dominions and India and the Colonies and Protectorates in the establishment of air forces, and thereby to develop the common defence of the Empire by air.

Photo of Lieutenant Alfred Raper Lieutenant Alfred Raper , Islington East

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if this will apply to any particular types of machines or to all types of machines now in use?

Photo of Major-General John Seely Major-General John Seely , Ilkeston

We hope to be able to meet all the requests for free gifts on the part of the Dominions. It may be that in some cases they will ask for types of which we have none available, but we hope that will not occur and that we shall be able to meet all their requests.