HC Deb 23 June 1943 vol 390 cc1136-7
13. Mr. Frankel

asked the Secretary of State for Air why non-commissioned air-gunners receive much lower rates of pay than other non-commissioned men of similar rank in air-crews, while commissioned air-gunners receive the same rate of pay as other commissioned members of air-crews?

Captain Balfour

The rates of pay of non-commissioned members of air-crews vary according to their qualifications and responsibilities. The degree of technical knowledge required and the length of the training period differ appreciably as between one category of air-crew duty and another. Commissioned air-gunners, on the other hand, carry responsibilities and undertake duties and obligations as Officers in addition to their responsibilities as air-gunners. They belong to the general duties branch of the Royal Air Force and receive the rates of pay of that Branch in common with all other officers engaged on flying duties.

Mr. Frankel

Does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that that is rather an evasive answer? Would he not look into the matter?

Captain Balfour

No, Sir, I would not at all agree with the hon. Gentleman that this was an evasive answer. I have endeavoured, as I always do, to give the hon. Gentleman the true facts of the case. Commissioned air-gunners are members of the general duties branch, and when on the ground they carry out such duties as fall to an officer, such as orderly officer, acting flight-commander, member of a court of inquiry or officer detailed to carry out an investigation. The general duties are such as any officer has to carry out, and for that purpose air-gunners are G.D officers.