HC Deb 02 July 1935 vol 303 cc1686-7
12. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office what is the nature of the certificate to be signed by officers or men before taking flights as passengers or observers in Royal Air Force aeroplanes; whether it is enforced for the Regular Army or Territorials, and particularly for flights which the Regulars or Territorials are ordered or encouraged to take as part of their duty, training, or co-operation with the Royal Air Force; and whether he will consider the abolition of this certificate?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Douglas Hacking)

Officers and men of the Regular or Territorial Army who undertake flights in Royal Air Force machines as part of their duty or training under proper military authority are not required to sign any certificate. In such circumstances they are regarded as on duty for the purposes of disability retired pay and widows', etc., pensions granted under the pay war- rant. Where, however, military personnel wish to make a flight in a Royal Air Force machine when not on duty, they are required to sign a certificate indemnifying the Air Council and any person in the service of the Crown against any claim in respect of loss or injury (including death) arising out of the flight.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the Financial Secretary state whether it is true that Territorial officers and men who go on courses still have to sign a certificate?


No, Sir, not if they are on duty. If they have a certificate signed by their commanding officer, they are not expected and ought not to be called on to sign a certificate presented by the Air Force.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Is it to be understood that what they require is a certificate from their commanding officer that they are proceeding on duty for a flight?


Yes, Sir. If the hon. and gallant Member will look at the Army Council Instruction 500 of 1926, he will see the position laid down in detail; but, roughly, it is that if they are on duty they are not expected to sign the certificate which is presented to them in the normal way by the Air Force when they are not on duty.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir CHARLES MacANDREW

On whom does the responsibility rest when Air Force machines are sent to a Territorial unit to give a demonstration? If there were an accident, who would be responsible, the air officer or the officer commanding the Territorials?


If it is a question of an accident to an Air Force machine, I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman had better address a question to the Air Ministry.


But if an accident happened to a man on the ground? That is my point.


Clearly that does not arise out of this question.

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