HC Deb 17 March 1926 vol 193 cc418-9

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether in their Second Report the Public Accounts Committee comment upon the average cost of training cadets at Cranwell as materially higher than that at military training colleges; and whether, as the number of cadets has been reduced, the number of the staff has decreased in like proportion?


I am aware of the disproportion of cost referred to in the fast part of my hon. Friend's question, and I explained the reasons for it in my reply to the hon. Member for Rusholme on 24th February. The establishment of Cranwell has been reduced, and I hope that the figure of average cost will be less in future, but with our smaller numbers and the more technical character of the instruction given, the cost per cadet is inevitably higher than at Sandhurst or the more comparable military establishment at Woolwich. As regards the second part of the question, the average strength of cadets during the two last financial years has been 106, and the number estimated for in the coming financial year is 109. There is thus no reduction in the number of cadets, but, on the other hand, the staff has been reduced since June, 1925.


Is it a fact, is stated in this House, that the number of cadets has been reduced by 30 per cent. and the staff by 7½ per cent.; and in view of that fact is it not possible to reduce the staff to the same amount?


As I say in my answer, it has been reduced.


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this reduction does not include the cost of flying, but simply the cost of looking after the cadets, the same as at Woolwich and Sandhurst, and can he give any explanation why it is so much higher?