Canberra Aircraft Accident

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th November 1977.

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Photo of Mr James Wellbeloved Mr James Wellbeloved , Bexley Erith and Crayford 12:00 am, 8th November 1977

There is no doubt that the inquiry into this tragic accident has taken longer than I would have wished, and, indeed, longer than was expected. However, any inquiry must be painstaking and meticulous, and in this case, where the crew lost their lives and the aircraft was almost totally destroyed, the investigation by the board of inquiry was particularly difficult to conduct and it inevitably took time. It was necessary to reconvene it twice to take supplementary evidence which emerged later in the inquiry. But throughout the period the inquiry was progressed with the utmost urgency consistent with the need to ensure the accurate diagnosis of the cause. As I have told the right hon. and learned Member, the report has now been received, and I have had the opportunity to study it. I am considering with my right hon. Friend whether a further statement should be made to the House.