Air Estimates, 1940.

Part of Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1940.

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Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme 12:00 am, 7th March 1940

I do not intend to be taken to task by the hon. Member. This question has been brought up in this House constantly to my knowledge for the last three years, and it has been brought up in the Press over and over again. Day after day, it is being brought up, not only by the hon. and gallant Member for North Portsmouth (Sir R. Keyes) but by every other thinking person in the country. It is a question that ought to be decided, and it is a question that can only be decided if the Air Ministry is ready to suggest a method of stopping these sinkings and shootings in the North Sea and the Channel, and to confer with the Admiralty about how best those things can be stopped. The country is only too well aware of the trouble that is going on. It is our business here to regulate that trouble, and to see that the Ministry put it right. The duty of this House in time of war is very clear. It is to voice the views of the public and to see that the public get all the information they can. We do not give away information, and we do not ask the Front Bench to give away information which would be in the slightest degree damaging to this country. The only advantage democracy has is that whenever there are questionings, they shall not be suppressed, but shall find a voice in this House. We hope, as long as the House of Commons endures, we shall be able to support our country in the best possible way by getting the public behind the Government.