HC Deb 03 February 1943 vol 386 cc873-4
15 and 16. Captain Cunningham-Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) why Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia has been accepted for training as a pilot in the Royal Air Force when his father, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, is a political prisoner;

(2) of whom were careful inquiries made before the son of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was accepted for training as a Royal Air Force pilot; and whether the Yugoslavian Government is in agreement with the British Government's action in this matter?

Sir A. Sinclair

Prince Alexander volunteered for air crew duties in the Royal Air Force, and after normal appearance before selection and medical boards was accepted for pilot training with the full knowledge of the Yugoslav Government. The inquiries that were made showed no reason why this young man's application should not proceed in the usual manner. It would not, however, be in the public interest to state of whom inquiries were made.

Captain Cunningham-Reid

Surely, as this man's father has during the war collaborated with the Axis in a blatant manner that is well known to this House, the father must be an enemy of this country, and, that being so, is it not a fact that, according to our Regulations, if they mean anything at all, the son is not eligible to be a member of the Royal Air Force?

Sir A. Sinclair

I think that this young man of 18 should be treated on his merits. He should have his choice to prove his loyalty to his country and the cause of the United Nations.

Mr. Astor

Should not the action of this young man in volunteering for the Air Force be received with approbation instead of with carping criticism?