The Palestine Defence Forces

Brigadier General Spears asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air in the House of Commons to-day if he would state on what ground it was decided that the Royal Air Force should be empowered to create an armoured car force in Palestine and Transjordan, what expert advice was taken before this policy was adopted, the date of this decision, and whether the Chief of the Imperial General Staff advised or concurred in so fundamental a departure from previous policy as the creation of this force entails.

Sir Philip Sassoon, the Under Secretary for Air, in replying, said: General Spears was under some misapprehension. Royal Air Force armoured car units had been functioning in Iraq as well as in Palestine and Transjordania for the past decade with conspicuous success, and such a system could not be described as a fundamental departure from policy. The institution was the result of prolonged and careful investigation and consideration by the Government.

Are we to understand, General Spears asked, that the Air Ministry is going to have a permanently mechanised force and to develop a mechanised land force?

I can only say, Sir Philip Sassoon replied, that this policy has been working successfully for ten years.

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