Grass for Cattle Food. Aerodromes.

Oral Answers to Questions — Yugoslavia. – in the House of Commons on 2nd April 1941.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he proposes to take in order to have grass mown from aerodromes treated as cattle food; and whether his attention has been called to the Newton process of grass-drying?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

My advisers are fully aware of the possibilities of various methods of grass-drying, including the Newton process; but, as explained in the course of the Debate on Air Estimates at the Committee stage, technical and operational requirements preclude the use on any large scale of grass mown from aerodromes as cattle food.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

In view of the fact that I am assured by practical operators of aerodromes that there is really no difficulty in the matter, will the Minister have the question looked into again, because valuable feeding-stuffs are being thrown away?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

My right hon. Friend is in close touch with the Minister of Agriculture in connection with this matter. Unfortunately, for aerodrome surface purposes we have to grow a particularly hard sort of grass which does not lend itself to drying. On the other hand. I shall be glad to look into any case of any particular aerodrome.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether it has now been decided by him to record by films actual operations of the Royal Air Force; and, if so, whether he will set up a special film unit of the Royal Air Force for this purpose?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

As indicated in the course of the Debate on Air Estimates at the Report stage, the desirability of obtaining as complete a film record of the air war as operational and technical considerations permit is fully recognised, and arrangements to this end have been made. As regards the second part of the Question, the formation of a special R.A.F. film unit is not at present contemplated.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

Can the Minister say whether the recent reports in the Press to the effect that the Royal Air Force were to take operational films in colour were issued with the authority of his Department, and, if so, is there any reason why that statement could not have been made in the Debate on the Air Estimates?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

I have not seen the statement. Film cameras have been installed in certain Royal Air Force aircraft, and these cameras are on loan from various sources. It is proposed that these cameras should be operated by Royal Air Force personnel, who are fully qualified to handle them as well as to fulfil their Royal Air Force duties. I cannot say anything about colour films, but I should have thought it was extremely doubtful whether they could be used with much benefit during night-bombing raids.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

Will the Minister take into consideration the fact that the operational activities of the Royal Air Force would be the finest propaganda in neutral countries?