Aircraft and Stores (Expenditure)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd November 1955.

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Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley 12:00 am, 2nd November 1955

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what part of the sum of £292 million estimated to be spent on the purchase of aircraft and stores in 1955–56 he now estimates will be spent; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Ward:

Expenditure on the purchase of aircraft and stores in 1955–56 is likely to be below the estimate, but it is not possible at this stage of the financial year to say by how much.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

Will the hon. Gentleman be good enough to say whether one of the reasons for the shortfall is the absence of technical staff to maintain V bombers? In other words, has the Air Ministry cut back the supply of V bombers because it lacks the technical staff to maintain the aircraft?

Mr. Ward:

I think I must refer Questions about V bombers to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Would the hon. Gentleman be quite frank with the House? Is it not true to say that the estimate for the Royal Air Force will not be fully used? Is it not true to say that?

Mr. Ward:

I did say that it looked at the moment as though we would be underspent, but I did not think it fair to say by how much at this stage, because there is still a lot of the financial year to go, and it might be a quite different figure by the end.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

As the hon. Gentleman has not been as frank as usual with the House, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Motion for the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.