HC Deb 18 November 1942 vol 385 cc323-4
13. Wing-commander Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can state under what circumstances honorary air commodores may now be appointed to flying and balloon squadrons of the Royal Air Force?

Sir A. Sinclair

For the present; new appointments as honorary air commodores are made only in the case of flying squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force. The peace-time practice of making such appointments to balloon squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force has been temporarily discontinued. The organisation of balloon squadrons must of necessity be fluid and no useful purpose would therefore be served by appointing honorary officers in posts which might become redundant.

Wing-Commander Hulbert

In congratulating my right hon. Friend upon this matter, may I ask him whether it is not a fact that flying squadrons are also fluid and why the difference is made between these Commands?

Sir A. Sinclair

Flying squadrons are not being amalgamated and their organisation profoundly altered, as is happening necessarily in the case of balloon squadrons, but I agree that there will come a time when we can say that we have reached stabilisation—[HON. MEMBERS: "We cannot hear."] I am addressing the Chair.

Mr. Shinwell

The Chair is not behind the right hon. Gentleman.

Sir A. Sinclair

And when we have reached such stabilisation I would be perfectly willing to consider the point raised.