18. Mr. Bower
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that many would-be transferees from the Army to the Royal Air Force, who were accepted by the latter and whose transfers have now been suspended by the Army Council, have spent months in trying to equip themselves for their new duties and have at the same time lost opportunities of promotion in the Army; and whether, in view of these facts, transfers from the Army to the Royal Air Force will be resumed at an early date?
§ Sir E. Grigg
The recent decision to suspend transfers to the Royal Air Force for air crew duties was taken in the interests 1374 of the Service. I greatly regret the disappointment caused to those whose transfers have not been completed. There is no reason, however, why they should have lost promotion in the Army, and I am sure that the great majority recognise that such transfers are not suspended without very strong cause.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many of these men were told that as they were shortly to be transferred to the Royal Air Force for new duties, there was no point in giving them that preferment in the Army which they would otherwise have received; and would he consider the possibility of agreeing to the transfer of all those accepted by the Royal Air Force up to a certain date, say, up to the end of November, for example?
§ Sir E. Grigg
No, Sir. I am afraid permission cannot be given at the present time. I am informed that the soldiers concerned have not suffered in the way of promotion, but, if the hon. Member has any example to the contrary, I should be very glad to investigate it.