HC Deb 22 July 1943 vol 391 cc1078-9
59. Mr. Bossom

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he has any statement to make on the progress of gliding in the Air Training Corps?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Progress in glider training in the Air Training Corps has been reasonably satisfactory, having regard to difficulties of supply, training of instructors, etc. In the last I8 months some 64,000 launches have been given to Air Training Corps cadets who are potential aircrew, and some 14,000 launches to instructors and instructors under training. Twenty-nine elementary gliding schools and two special schools for instructors are in operation. Over 5,000 cadets have achieved varying degrees of proficiency, and some 2,000 have received dual instruction in two-seater gliders. Over 100 instructors have fully qualified as such, and another 200 are under training. The scheme has now been further speeded up, the aim being to increase the number of elementary gliding schools to 100. As I have indicated, the rate of expansion is limited by difficulties of supply, which in turn restricts the training of instructors, but I am hopeful that this useful form of training for cadets will be considerably extended over the next few months.

Mr. Bossom

While thanking the Under-Secretary for that reply, might I ask whether he will do his utmost to extend this scheme as quickly as possible?

Captain Balfour

That was the purport of my reply.