Torpedoes and Mines.

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy. – in the House of Commons on 5th August 1942.

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

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty are responsible for the supply, testing and upkeep of torpedoes and mines carried by land-based aircraft in all theatres of the war; who provides and is responsible for the sea training of the crews; and whether the present system is in every respect efficient for operations of war at sea?

Mr. Alexander:

The Admiralty is responsible for the supply of torpedoes and mines for both Fleet Air Arm and R.A.F. aircraft. It is also responsible for the testing and upkeep of these weapons in the Fleet Air Arm and for the provision and sea training of air crews for the Fleet Air Arm. The system of training is considered satisfactory. The Air Ministry is responsible for the testing and upkeep of torpedoes and mines used by the R.A.F. and for the provision and sea training of R.A.F. air crews. The Air Ministry consider this system to be satisfactory, but in conjunction with the Admiralty they have for some time been giving attention to securing any further improvements which may be found to be possible.

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

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the answer he has given, while partially satisfactory, indicates a certain measure of divided control, which can only lead to uncertainty and inefficiency?

Mr. Alexander:

I would not accept that. I feel sure that the Air Ministry and ourselves want to co-operate so as to get the most efficient results.

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

Would it not be infinitely better if the whole of the naval flying were under one control, namely, the Admiralty?