HC Deb 25 June 1919 vol 117 cc167-8
14. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry what was the numerical strength of the Women's Royal Air Force, officers and other ranks, respectively, on 1st November, 1918, and on the 1st June, 1919?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Major-General Seely)

The figures are as follows:

  • 1st November, 1918, 496 officers, 25,062 other ranks.
  • 1st June, 1919, 442 officers, 20,419 other ranks.
The figure for 1st November includes 24 officers and 1,543 other ranks Women's Royal Naval Service serving at Women's Royal Air Force stations and subsequently transferred to that force.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the hastening of the demobilisation of these ladies, in order to give employment to discharged unemployed soldiers?

Major-General SEELY

Yes, Sir; that is being borne in mind. The process of reduction is continuing. Of course, the hon. and gallant Gentleman will understand that during the very rapid demobilisation of the men of the Royal Air Force we depend principally upon the women to carry us through this difficult period.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the numbers he has given us of those transferred from the Admiralty are different from those given by his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister?

Major-General SEELY

I do not think that is so. Of course, there is the difference in date. I think he will find that they are correct. I have gone through the figures myself very carefully.

Colonel ASHLEY

Is the Women's Royal Air Force to be a permanent service or is it to be done away with shortly?

Major-General SEELY

The Women's Royal Naval Air Force does not now exist as such; these were ladies transferred on 1st November to the Women's Royal Air Force.