HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 cc400-1
28. Sir Cooper Rawson

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with reference to the appointment of an Army officer to command No. 4 Squadron, Royal Air Force, whether reports as to his suitability for such command were obtained from the officers commanding the squadron, station and group in which he served while attached to the Royal Air Force; and what was the nature of these reports?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Earl Winterton)

No special reports were obtained but full consideration was given to all relevant information concerning the officer's suitability for command, including the reports made upon him during his previous service with the Royal Air Force. As regards the second part of the question, reports rendered on officers relating to their official duties are confidential and cannot be divulged.

Sir C. Rawson

May I ask, without casting any reflection on this officer, whether it is not a fact that there are other officers in the Air Force who are capable of doing this particular work?

Earl Winterton

I do not think that that arises out of the question. My hon. Friend asked me a question about a particular officer which I answered.

Mr. Perkins

Can my Noble Friend say whether it is a fact that an assurance was given in the House about three months ago that reports of incidents of this kind could always be obtained, and whether in this case no report has been obtained?

Earl Winterton

I have said that consideration was given to all relevant information. I can, however, inform my hon. Friend that consideration is being given to a different system of obtaining reports in future. I can say that without reflecting on the suitability of this particular officer.

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