§ 42. Major HORE-BELISHA
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will give particulars of the conditions under which commissions are obtained from the ranks in the Royal Air Force: if it has been decided that commissions shall be given to non-commissioned pilots: whether such commissions will be open to competition among the non-commissioned officer pilots at home and abroad: and if such commissions are permanent?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Leach)
As the reply is rather long, T will, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the reply:
§ A limited number of boys enlisted as aircraft apprentices who have completed three years' training as such are selected twice a year by the Air Council for cadetships at the Royal Air Force Cadet College, with a view to qualification for permanent commissions in the general duties branch of the Royal Air Force. In addition, non-commissioned officer pilots may be specially recommended for permanent commissions in the general duties branch by air officers commanding at home or abroad, provided that (1) they are qualified and employed as pilots, (2) 575 they are not less than 21 years of age, (3) they are considered likely to make efficient officers in every respect, (4) they have reached a certain educational standard. A third avenue to promotion to commissioned rank is that open to warrant officers of the medical branch, who may be specially recommended for permanent commissions as medical quartermasters under conditions similar to those in force in the Army. I would add, as regards the second of the above three classes of candidates for commissions, that it is the intention of the Air Council to limit the award of commissions to a very small number of outstanding recommended candidates until more experience of the working of the scheme has been gained.