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SIR HUGH SEELY : " With a sixty-mile-an-hour wind
THE PRIME MINISTER : " What does the hon. Member
mean to imply by that ? "
SiR'H. SEELY : " If it is a question of speed, I am pointing
out that there was a sixty-mile-an-hour wind behind the
THE PRIME MINISTER : €< Is the hon. Member trying to
depreciate its performance ? "
SIR H. SEELY : " If that is considered to be the normal
speed of a Hawker Hurricane, I am pointing out that it
certainly is not so, because the wind behind on that flight
is well known to have been between fifty and sixty miles
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I will not argue that, and I am
not saying that that is the normal speed. I did not say so.
I was going on to say that the pilot was able to find his way
and steer a correct course by his instruments alone and that
that showed that, while we have developed these great speeds,
we have not neglected the question of safety or of adaptability.
It is interesting to compare the speeds that are being achieved
to-day with those which were achieved only a comparatively
short time ago, and, of course, when the hon. Gentleman
compares the output of aeroplanes to-day with the output
of aeroplanes during the War he is comparing two things
which are as different from one another as chalk from cheese.
The Bulldog squadron which was formed long after the War
m 1929 had a top speed of one hundred and sixty-three miles
an hour; the first squadron of Gauntlets which was formed
in 1935 had a top speed of two hundred and thirty miles
an hour; but now we are well over speeds of three
hundred miles an hour, and the Spitfire, to which I think
the hon. Member alluded, is, I am informed, the fastest
fighter in service squadrons anywhere in the world. It
is shortly coming into service. In speaking of bombers,
I cannot, of course, disclose the range of the bomb loads
of the latest types, but those which are now in service are,
I understand, the fastest bombers in the world, and the new
types which are now on order show such a marked advance
in all respects upon those which are now in service that I