HC Deb 10 April 1946 vol 421 cc1909-10
23. Mr. Swingler

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many age and service groups in the pay accounts branch of the R.A.F. are due for release up to 30th June, 1946; how many men have been transferred to this branch from other branches between 1st January and 31st March, 1946; and how many men are undergoing training for this branch at the latest date for which figures are available.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

With permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement giving the figures required.

Following is the statement:

R.A F. Clerks, Pay Accounting.
(i)Groups due to be released 1st April-3oth June 7 (groups 26–32)
(ii) Numbers entered to trade between 1st January and 31st March:
(a) direct remustering 110 (estimate)
(b) passed out of training (including serving airmen and new recruits) 1,220
(iii) Numbers under training on 1st April:
(a) in schools 460
(b) recruits undergoing preliminary training 480

29. Mr. Driberg

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that W.A.A.F. personnel due for release in February were still held at No. 22 P.T.C., Egypt, on 22nd March awaiting transport to the United Kingdom, and that on the same date W.A.A.F. personnel due for release in March had not left their units in the Middle East for the transit camp; and if he will state the reasons for this delay and take steps to secure punctual release of women serving overseas.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

The amount of accommodation in the average troopship which is suitable for members of the Women's Services is limited and I regret that this has caused a delay in their return from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Members of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, due for release in February, arrived in this country from the Middle East on 3rd April, and arrangements have been made to clear all outstanding requirements next month.

33. Mr. James Callaghan

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air, how soon his present training programme for recruits to the Accounts Branch will enable him to demobilise accounts clerks at the same time as the general releases.

31. Mr. Basil Nield

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how far the date of release for W.A.A.F. clerks, accountancy, is behind that of other trades; the reason for delay; and whether any improvement ran be expected.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

As my hon. Friend explained in his reply to the hon. and gallant Members for Lewes (Major Beamish) and Aston (Major Wyatt) on 13th March, the Air Ministry are doing all they can to raise the level of release in the accounting trades by training as many suitable men as possible—and women are now being trained as well. Even so, the successive accelerations in release for the Service as a whole have put a heavy burden on these trades and there are still difficult problems to overcome—for example, the introduction of the new pay code next July. So, it is not yet possible to forecast when equality in the rate of release will be reached. Airmen of the accounting trades are at present five groups behind the general level of release—a delay of two months— and airwomen are six groups behind—a delay of three months.

Mr. Driberg

How long does it take to train an average recruit for this trade?

Mr. Thomas

I should want notice of that Question.