HC Deb 17 February 1916 vol 80 cc233-4

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether trained members of the Royal Naval Air Service Anti-Aircraft Corps have been removed from certain gun and light stations in or near London and their places taken by younger men and officers selected from the Army; if this has been done will he explain why the change has been made; and whether the men so displaced are kept on full pay without being given employment of any kind?


My right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty has asked me to answer this question. Both naval and military personnel have been employed for some time in the anti-aircraft defences of London. Necessarily they are employed where their services are most useful and convenient, and they are moved as may be necessary at the discretion of the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief the Home Forces. In one or two instances men have been withdrawn, but that has been because they were required at other stations, and where they have been with drawn they have been moved straight to these new stations. No men have been displaced and kept unemployed.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the impression in the ranks that these older men have been discharged to make room for younger men, and is there any truth in that?


I should not like to give an answer which might be misleading. It is conceivable that in the redistribution of work among the personnel some men might be found unfit for these new duties, but as a general rule there is no intention to displace or discharge them.