Air Force.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 16th February 1922.

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Photo of Mr John Gretton Mr John Gretton , Burton

48.

asked the Prime Minister whether under the terms of the Treaty the Irish Free State will be able to establish and maintain its own Air Force?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

Yes, Sir. I understand that the term "military defence force" in Article 10 of the Articles of Agreement includes an Air Force.

Photo of Mr John Gretton Mr John Gretton , Burton

Has the Government had any recommendation made to them on this point?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The naval and military Clauses were carefully considered with the experts of those various Departments, and the Ministers concerned in dealing with them are the Ministers usually associated with the work of the Committee of Imperial Defence. The same is true of the arrangement made about the Air Force. It was not considered of sufficient importance to insist upon any specific stipulation in that case, and I think very sensibly so.

Photo of Mr George Terrell Mr George Terrell , Chippenham

Were these arrangements actually approved of by the technical authorities?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

It is not a fair thing to try and cite technical authorities, military or naval, as approving of matters which are wholly political, and surrounded by controversy.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I am very pleased to have that approval from a wholly unexpected and unsolicited quarter.