Dakota Aircraft (Disposal) (Hansard, 7 May 1951)
HC Deb 07 May 1951 vol 487 cc1559-60
6. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the Minister of Supply how many D.C. 3 Dakota ex-Royal Air Force aircraft have been broken up by his Department, or by contractors, during the last five years; how many of these aircraft are still held ready for breaking up; what consideration has been given to these aircraft being sold for use by the British European Airways Corporation, or any charter companies, instead of being broken up;] and if he will make a statement of Government policy on this matter.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

One Dakota aircraft was broken down at a Ministry depot before 1948 and none is awaiting breakdown. Since June, 1946, 128 beyond economical repair have been broken down at the request of the Air Ministry, under contracts placed by my Department, for the recovery for the R.A.F. of components and spares, which would otherwise have to be bought for dollars. Dakotas declared surplus are normally disposed of by competitive tender and 20 have been sold in the last five years. Both British European Airways Corporation and charter companies were invited to tender.

Mr. Cooper

Has my right hon. Friend any information that these aircraft, which he says were not worth recovering, have been flown into some of the aerodromes, or at least one of them, where the breaking down was taking place? Would it not have been worth while, and more advantageous, to have sold them, in view of the high prices they have been fetching?

Mr. Strauss

Those which were saleable were put up for auction. It is only those which are not saleable and which are in such a bad condition that they have to be broken down, which are broken down.

Sir Herbert Williams

Will the Minister say what he means? The Question says, "broken up," and he says "broken down." Is he thinking of His Majesty's Government?