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Royal Air Force

Volume 309: debated on Monday 24 February 1936

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Aeroplanes (Wireless Equipment)

71.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the Royal Air Force machine that landed in the sea near Havre was equipped with wireless; whether this; machine was in communication with any wireless station; and, if so, why this machine was not directed by wireless to some English aerodrome free from fog?

The aircraft was in communication throughout by wireless with Andover wireless station. Bearings were given to the pilot and he was instructed to land at Northolt, as his own aerodrome was obscured by low clouds.

Does not my right hon. Friend think that the Air Ministry ought to have made quite certain that the weather conditions were suitable before allowing these exercises on that night?

One of the reasons for these exercises was to train pilots in flying under cloud conditions.

When the weather began to deteriorate the aeroplanes were recalled to their bases, and where the bases were obscured by the fog they were told which other aerodromes to make for.

Fog Landing Facilities

72.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air which Royal Air Force aerodromes are equipped with facilities for fog landings, such as are in use at Heston airport; and how many pilots in the Royal Air Force have any experience of this new invention?

The equipment referred to is not in use in the Royal Air Force, but certain aircraft are now being fitted with fog-landing apparatus for experimental purposes.

Education (Grants)

76.

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the pledge of 1918, re-affirmed in 1933, that the whole scale and organisation of education services depend upon the central Government making grants-in-aid of them covering at least 50 per cent. of their cost, he is aware that, under the 1931 economies, this principle has been seriously violated in many urban areas and that in Bournemouth the grant falls short by £32,195 and only amounts to 16.6 per cent.; and what steps he proposes to take to rectify this anomaly?

I have nothing to add to the answers which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. A. Reed) on 13th February, and of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in no comparable urban area in this country is the burden so great as in the case mentioned in the question, and will he consider whether it is not such a serious position that it must be put right?

I do not agree that the burden of the cost of education borne by Bournemouth is greater than the burden borne by many more distressed areas?

My question referred to urban areas of a similar character, and does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the burden is entirely disproportionate to that of all other similar areas?

Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member will tell me what towns he regards as being of a similar character to Bournemouth?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is no place better fitted than Bournemouth to bear a heavy burden?