asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many aircraft carriers are now in commission and in reserve; how many ships are fitted for carrying aircraft; and whether enough machines, pilots, and observers are kept either on board or at their attached aerodromes to provide for the full establishment of aircraft laid down for these ships?
The ships in commission are "Argus" and "Pegasus"; the ships under construction or reconstruction are "Hermes," "Eagle" and "Furious";"Ark Royal" is in reserve. Seventeen battleships, four battle cruisers, and seven light cruisers are fitted with flying platforms. As regards the number of machines, I would refer my Noble and gallant Friend to the reply given on the 12th April to the hon. and gallant Member for Hertford (Rear-Admiral Sueter). The number of pilots and observers is adequate for the aircraft actually allocated to the Navy.
I referred my Noble and gallant Friend to an answer in which I said that the number we thought desirable had been reduced, from considerations of economy.
Are we to understand that the Navy has not got the number of machines that it really requires: and, further, are the Admiralty satisfied with the position? May I have an answer?