HC Deb 30 September 1942 vol 383 cc755-6
17. Mr. Liddall

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that strong feeling exists in the Royal Air Force that serving men who have been approved and are awaiting re-mustering for air crews, in some cases 12 months or more, should now be given priority of training for these duties over civilian entrants who might simultaneously be drafted in to take their places temporarily; and whether he will reconsider the whole position?

Sir A. Sinclair

The names of men volunteering for duty as pilots, navigators or bomb-aimers, whether from within the Service or direct from civil life, are placed on a roster according to the date on which they are accepted for air crew training. They are then posted for training when their turn comes. Wireless operator/air gunners have first to be trained as wireless operators on the ground and after such training are employed on ground duties until required for air crew training. In their case, too; a roster is maintained. Other air crew members are drawn almost entirely from serving airmen. I am afraid that the course proposed by my hon. Friend would involve the uneconomical use of training facilities which are required to produce men for the essential maintenance trades.

Mr. Liddall

Could not arrangements be made for giving some training to these men which would give them encouragement and help?

Sir A. Sinclair

These wireless operators, who are employed on ground duties are employed on most important duties where we wish them to be.