asked the Secretary of State for Air how much of the money allowed for civil aviation—subsidies, etc.—in the 1922–23 Estimates has not yet been allocated; how is it intended to utilise this sum; whether this sum is considered sufficient; whether he has recently received representations as to the serious position of the air industry; and whether he can make a statement as to the Government's policy?
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the Sub-head of Vote 8, which relates to "Civil Aviation Subsidies"; if he refers to the Vote as a whole he will see that the allocation of the money included in it is given in fairly full detail in the Air Estimates. As regards the sub-head for subsidies of £207,000, £107,000 was provided for the purehase of machines to be supplied on hire-purchase terms to approved civil aerial transport companies. £100,000 was provided for subsidies in cash to such companies. It is possible that the subsidy grants earned and the requirements in machines may be less than the Estimate, but I am not yet in a position to say what savings will arise or how they will be allocated. In considering the allocation of any savings, the Air Ministry would most certainly have regard to the present position of transport companies—whose not unreasonable estimates of traffic have not been fulfilled—and of the aircraft industry.