HC Deb 19 December 1945 vol 417 cc1325-6
41. Mr. Vane

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when he anticipates the release rates for equipment assistants will be approximately level with that of the most favoured trades.

Mr. Strachey

We have now reduced the lag in the rate of release of equipment assistants to four groups. How soon we can bring them level depends upon whether and if so, by how much the general rate of release is speeded up in the New Year.

Mr. Vane

Is it a lag of four groups behind the average rate of release or behind that of the most favoured trades?

Mr. Strachey

The rate of release of most airmen for January is Group 26, with half of Group 27, and it is behind that.

Mr. Lipson

When will there be a corresponding improvement in the Accounts Branch?

Mr. Strachey

There has been.

44 and 70. Squadron-Leader Segal

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air (1) what steps he has taken to prevent the issue of unauthorised pronouncements in official R.A.F. publications to avoid the raising of false hopes about demobilisation among R.A.F. personnel;

(2) upon whose authority the statement was published in the R.A.F. Journal of October, 1945, to the effect that by the end of this year the difference in release as between various trades would probably be greatly reduced, if not eliminated; how far this difference as between various trades has been reduced since October, 1945; and when it is hoped to eliminate it.

Mr. Strachey

The statement in the Royal Air Force Journal was not unauthorised, and in fact the differences in the rate of demobilisation as between trades have been greatly reduced. In October, when the statement was made, 13.3 per cent. of Royal Air Force releases were delayed; in January the figure will be 5.6 per cent. The reason why the unevenness has not been further reduced is, of course, the successive speed-ups in the general rate of release. The faster you go the harder it is to achieve perfect evenness. In fact, even those most affected by the disparity which continues —six groups for the accounting trades in January—have all had their release speeded up compared with our first estimates for the end of this year. Whether we even out the remaining disparities in the New Year depends on whether or not there is a further speed-up in the rate of general release.

Squadron-Leader Segal

While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I point out that Question No. 44 should have been listed subsequently to Question No. 70? May I ask the Minister what justification there has been for the statement that it is hoped to eliminate this disparity?

Mr. Strachey

It is hoped to eliminate it, and certainly it will be eliminated. The only question is, when?

74. Mr. Turton

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he will give an assurance that officers in the R.A.F. medical service up to Group 30 will be demobilised under Class A contemporaneously with officers in the R.A.M.C.; and, if not, by what date such releases will be completed.

Mr. Strachey

I regret that I cannot give the assurance asked for since the ratio of doctors in the Army is higher than in the R.A.F. and the numbers in the different age and service groups vary as between the Services. Medical officers in the R.A.F. will be released in Group 25 this month and in Group 26 in January. They are therefore up to the general rate of release.

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