HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2659-60
7. Mr. George Jeģer

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the resentment of young men who join the A. T. C. and are accepted and trained for aircrews and are then considered redundant and trained as transport drivers whilst other young men are still being recruited for aircrews; and if he will take steps to put an end to this grievance.

Mr. Strachey

All candidates for aircrew duties, whether they have been in the A. T. C. or not, now have to enlist in the Royal Air Force for ground employment in the first instance, but they are then considered for aircrew training if they are willing to undertake a period of regular and reserve service. Large numbers of aircrew and aircrew trainees are now inevitably surplus to requirements, and therefore, in order to even out the rate of release between trades, redundant aircrew and trainees have had to be allotted to ground duties.

Captain Sir Peter Macdonald

Would the hon. Gentleman take steps to consult the Minister of Civil Aviation to see whether these air crew trainees might be absorbed in civil aviation?

Mr. Strachey

Not so much the trainees, as some of the most experienced air crews of Transport Command, have been reabsorbed in that way. We are, of course, in constant contact with the Ministry of Civil Aviation on that question.

Mr. Jeģer

Is the bait of attachment to aircrews still being offered to young men as an inducement for them to join the A. T. C.?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir, it is not possible to guarantee to A. T. C. cadets that all of them can become air crew. We have stated that several times, in this House and elsewhere.