HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1258-9
9. Sir I. Albery

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will consider reducing the number of commissions given to sergeant-pilots when first completing their training, and increase the percentage at present made available for promoting sergeants already on active service?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

Under the present system all suitable sergeant-pilots who are recommended for commissioning after joining operational squadrons do in fact receive commissions. I do not think, therefore, that the arrangements can be varied with advantage. They already ensure that conduct and efficiency on active service are taken fully into account.

Sir I. Albery

Am I to understand that only a certain percentage of sergeant-pilots can be recommended for commissions?

Sir A. Sinclair

Yes, but my answer conveys a more accurate impression of the situation than the suggestion that the hon. Gentleman has just made.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider that there is a considerable number of sergeant-pilots with long service and pre-war experience who are not receiving promotion, while other new officers with much less experience are put over their heads?

Sir A. Sinclair

Whether or not a sergeant is suitable for promotion is a matter which we must leave to the judgment of the commanding officer. There is ample room for promotion for sergeants who have the necessary qualifications.