HC Deb 07 March 1945 vol 408 cc2005-6
26. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that R.A.F. personnel discharged on medical grounds have been kept waiting over two months for the issue of civilian clothing; and will he take steps to ensure a much shorter waiting period.

Sir A. Sinclair

Airmen who are invalided from the Service normally receive their civilian clothing within fourteen days. A few who cannot be fitted from the standard range of sizes have clothes specially made, and in some cases of this kind delays of the order of two months have occurred. I regret that in present circumstances some delay is inevitable where clothes have to be specially made.

Mr. W. Edwards

Does the Minister appreciate that when a man leaves the Service without a civilian suit and has to wait two months before one is provided for him he is placed in very great difficulty in finding civilian employment? What steps does he propose to take to see that such men are provided for if they cannot get civilian employment?

Sir A. Sinclair

I see and regret the difficulty in which it places a man if he cannot get his clothes for two months, but the hon. Member must realise that I, too, am in a difficulty, in the present state of shortage of clothes, in providing for people who require suits of special sizes.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Will the Minister make it clear that 90 per cent. of the men discharged on medical grounds take a suit on the day of their discharge and that the trouble arises with the difficult cases?

Sir A. Sinclair

I thought I had made that clear, but I am obliged to my hon. Friend.

27. Sir William Wayland

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether members of the R.A.F. Educational Service are to receive an outfit of civilian clothes in common with other members of the Armed Forces when they leave the R.A.F.; and whether they are eligible for similar gratuities.

Sir A. Sinclair

Unmobilised officers of the Royal Air Force educational service are employed and paid as civilians and are accordingly ineligible for the release benefits to be granted to mobilised officers.