HC Deb 11 March 1942 vol 378 cc1032-3
11. Wing-Commander Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he proposes to follow the example of the Army Council and cause a survey to be made of the qualifications of all officers of the General Duties Branch of the rank of group captain and below who have reached the age of 45?

3. Flight-Lieutenant Ralph Etherton

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether, with a view to increasing the efficiency and vigour of Royal Air Force administration, he will order a general review similar to that recently instituted by an Army Council Instruction on the efficiency and alertness of officers over the age of 45 years; and what provisions at present exist for the retirement of officers of various ranks on reaching any specific age and state the age applicable to each rank?

Sir A. Sinclair

There is already in existence in the Royal Air Force a procedure for ensuring that the capabilities of officers, whatever their age or rank, are kept under constant review. Reports are rendered on them either annually or specially as circumstances may require and those whose services are not satisfactory are placed on the retired list or called upon to relinquish their commissions. There have, in fact, been a number of retirements and resignations of officers of all ranks from the highest to the lowest, and accordingly, I see no need for a special review of the kind suggested. The compulsory retiring ages of regular officers in the various branches of the Service are set out in detail in King's Regulations and Air Council Instructions. Regular officers reaching their retiring ages during the war may be retained on the active list at the discretion of the Air Council.

Major Milner

If these officers are retired compulsorily and not under the age limit, have they a right of appeal?

Sir A. Sinclair

Not if they are retired because there is no employment available for them, but if there was any suggestion affecting their professional honour, they would have the right of appeal.