Aircraft and Missiles (Supply, Maintenance and Operation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd April 1958.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Lincoln 12:00 am, 2nd April 1958

asked the Minister of Defence (1) what study he is making of the overlapping between the Royal Air Force and the other Services in the supply, maintenance and operation of missiles;

(2) what study he is making of the overlapping between the Royal Air Force and the other Services in the supply, maintenance and operation of aircraft.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I am not aware of any appreciable overlapping.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Lincoln

Whilst I am delighted to hear that from the Minister, is it not a fact that if all three Services use similar missiles, in certain cases even identical missiles, there is at least a case now for amalgamation of the technical services involved?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I do not quite understand what the hon. Gentleman is after, although I am glad he was delighted by my first reply. Missiles are supplied by a single Department, the Ministry of Supply, so there is no overlapping there. As regards maintenance, they are maintained to a very small extent, because they are highly technical, by the units which operate them. Where any major maintenance or repair is involved, the plan is that they shall be returned to the manufacturers.