Oral Answers to Questions — Transport Aircraft (Adaptation)

– in the House of Commons on 17th February 1943.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production why draughtsmen and other skilled workpeople have been employed on one machine changing the structure from the standard York and fitting it up as a luxury air liner; and why is time being spent on it when the original machine could have been fitted with seats like the troop-carrier aeroplanes?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

In view of the long journeys by air which those concerned in the higher direction of the war are frequently called upon to undertake, arrangements are now in hand for the provision of more suitably equipped transport aircraft than have hitherto been available. The airplane to which the hon. Member refers is one of several being adapted in the manner considered most appropriate for this purpose.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

Could the right hon. and learned Gentleman be more specific and state for whom the luxury air liners are being built, in view of the large amount of man-hours being spent on this particular machine?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I cannot be more specific than I have been in the statement I have already made, that it is for those concerned with the higher direction of the war. They may be quite a number of people.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

In view of the baths and all manner of utensils of that kind which are being fitted on the aircraft, and in view of the way that the ordinary men of the Armed Forces have to carry on, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman state for whom the luxury air liners are being built?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I repeat, for those concerned in the higher direction of the war.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does my right hon. and learned Friend accept the description "luxury air liners"? Are luxury air liners being built for those concerned in the higher direction of the war? Why cannot they manage as ordinary people do?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

It depends on what is meant by "luxury." Some people would regard washing as a luxury, and others would not.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does my right hon. and learned Friend, in that facetious reply—which, if I may say so, is quite unusual for him—suggest that the ordinary men travelling in the troop carriers do not wash, and that this ablutionary privilege is left to those concerned in the higher direction of the war? How often do they wash?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I was making reference to that part of the Question alleging that there was a bath.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The people concerned in the higher direction of the war require a certain degree of comfort on long-distance journeys if they are to perform their duties properly.

Photo of Sir Alfred Beit Sir Alfred Beit , St Pancras South East

Shall we not need such aircraft after the war, and is not this a step in the right direction?

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that those who have ever crossed the Atlantic in a bomber will learn with relief that the Prime Minister does not have to travel in the same discomfort?