HC Deb 01 December 1942 vol 385 c1009
72. Mr. Hannah

asked the Secretary of State for Air what use it is proposed to make of the experience gained by members of the Royal Observer Corps, who have made themselves expert in distinguishing different forms of aircraft, but are over 50 years of age?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Members of the Royal Observer Corps who are skilled in aircraft recognition are employed at observer posts. They are not affected by the recent order.

Mr. Hannah

May we have a definite assurance that no member of the Royal Observer Corps will in future be deprived of his job simply because of his age?

Captain Balfour

The criterion whether or not a man holds his job in the Royal Observer Corps is whether we consider that he and the class of the Corps to which he belongs can best continue to perform duties, having regard to the change in Royal Air Force methods of air defence.

Mr. Hannah

Has it nothing to do with age?

Captain Balfour

Unfortunately, most things have.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Is it not a fact that only people over 50 were discharged, and that therefore it must be to do with age?