§ 24. Wing-Commander Bullus
asked the Secretary of State for Air if in view of the Far Eastern situation, he is satisfied that the present Royal Air Force defence force in Singapore is adequate to meet all eventualities.
§ Mr. A. Henderson
The forces at the disposal of the R.A.F. in Singapore are sufficient to meet present commitments.
§ Wing-Commander Bullus
Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman's attention been directed to a report in the "Straits Times" of 2nd July, which states that angry talk in Air Force circles was that Singapore was unprepared for air attack, that fighter aircraft were years out of date and that radar for interception was non-existent? Will the Secretary of State discountenance those statements?
§ Mr. Henderson
I do not think that I am called upon to refute every statement made in the Press. I am prepared to stand by the statement I have made. As regards the question of whether the aircraft in Singapore are out of date, it is quite true that they are Tempests and Spitfires, but they are no more out of date than the Mustangs now being operated in Korea, apparently quite successfully.
§ Mr. Walter Fletcher
Will the Secretary of State call for a report as to whether these allegations have any substance behind them, because it is so much better to be prepared beforehand than to be caught afterwards?
§ Mr. Henderson
I can assure the hon. Member that we at the Air Ministry are not ignorant of the position in any of the commands of the R.A.F., but in view of the allegations that have been made by the hon. and gallant Member for Wembley, North (Wing-Commander Bullus), who naturally makes himself responsible for them by quoting them in the House, it is my duty, as Minister, to satisfy myself that they are without substance.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
What does the Secretary of State mean when he says that the Mustangs in Korea are "quite successful"?