Defence

Part of LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL (GENERAL POWERS) BILL [Lords] (By Order) – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford 12:00 am, 27th July 1959

The early 'sixties—certainly not ten years.

All these aircraft come under the heading of transport aircraft and will be purchased and operated by the Royal Air Force. They will provide for us a highly developed degree of mobility both for men and material from our base in the United Kingdom right into the battle area. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the all-up weight limit. The Army Air Corps will continue to be responsible for tactical reconnaissance and Air O.P. and light liaison work within the Army area. When we are talking in terms of the all-out limit, what matters is the rôle which the aircraft is performing much more than what is the weight of a particular aircraft.

When hon. Gentleman opposite cast aspersions on the ability of Transport Command to meet our defence needs—I am sure that if they are proved wrong none will be more glad than themselves—I hope they noticed this time last year, when we feared there would be trouble in the Mediterranean, the speed with which brigades of troops were flown out to Cyprus. We flew some 5,500 men from the United Kingdom to Cyprus, two brigades out to Cyprus in the latter part of June last year.