HC Deb 07 July 1943 vol 390 c2063
7. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for Air what time-lag there is now betwen the registration of men for the Royal Air Force and the date they start their training; and how far avoidable delay takes place between the various stages of training?

Sir A. Sinclair

The interval between registration and the start of training for-men enlisted for ground duties is eight to nine weeks of which five to six weeks are used in dealing with them under the machinery of the Ministry of Labour and National Service. The period of deferred service for aircrew personnel, which differs for each category of aircrew, necessarily varies from time to time for operational and other reasons. There is no avoidable delay between stages of training.

Sir T. Moore

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are cases in which five and six months have elapsed between registration and calling up for service, and will he bear in mind that in spite of the efforts of his Department this tends to produce disappointment and frustration in these young men who are eager and anxious to serve the country?

Sir A. Sinclair

I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend understands that I regret any feelings of frustration that are caused by these delays as much as he does, but the position is that young volunteers—and they must all be young and all be volunteers for air-crew training—who can attain the necessary physical and mental standards required for air-crew training are limited in numbers. We must get all we can, but the rate at which we can pass them through the training organisation is regulated by the requirements of the operational squadrons.