Oral Answers to Questions — Naval Operations (Aircraft).

– in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

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Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that all aircraft taking part in naval operations do not at present belong to the Fleet Air Arm nor come under direct Admiralty control, the pilots of such Royal Air Force machines as may have to take part in those operations are given special training in naval strategy and tactics?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

No, Sir, this would be impossible.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that, in view of the specialised nature of the work which these pilots have to do, it would be better that the shore-based aircraft employed should be under the direction of the Admiralty?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend is with regard to those aircraft taking part in naval operations. There are specialised aircraft and specially trained pilots to take part in naval operations, but there may be occasions when other aircraft have to be employed.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Will the Minister consider whether it would not be desirable, in the light of experience during this war, that all aircraft taking part in naval operations should come under the direct control and direction of the Fleet Air Arm and the Admiralty?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

That is another question.

Photo of Rear-Admiral Tufton Beamish Rear-Admiral Tufton Beamish , Lewes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that divided controls of ships and land-based aircraft conducting operations of war have been, are now and must continue to be a grave handicap to efficiency?

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Is it not the case that any machine of the Royal Air Force may have to take part in naval operations and that therefore the suggestion contained in the Question is quite impracticable?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

That was the effect of my reply. Perhaps the other specific points that have been raised might be put on the Order Paper.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I have no option but to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

In view of the fact that there are now about 200 Notices of Motion for which no date has been fixed, may I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether there is not some way by which we can get rid of some of them?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

It is a question of the more the merrier.

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Are not these Notices of Motion an indication of the dissatisfaction of this House in regard to the conduct of the Government?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

That is a matter of opinion.