HC Deb 31 July 1946 vol 426 cc923-4
3. Mr. David Renton

asked the Undersecretary of State for Air how many applications for permanent commissions are awaiting decision by his Department; and when it is proposed to announce the results of these applications.

Mr. de Freitas

Since March, 1944, about 26,000 officers altogether have applied for permanent or extended-service commissions. Some 5,500 have not yet received a reply to their application. We are issuing frequent selection lists and I hope that before the end of the year everyone will know what has been decided.

Mr. Renton

While appreciating that the hon. Gentleman's Department has a considerable task in this matter, may I ask him to bear in mind that many of these young men are due for demobilisation very shortly, and that it would help them to plan their future careers if they could be given an answer about this as soon as possible?

Mr. de Freitas

I understand that. Of course, all these applications have to be examined carefully, in justice both to the men and to the taxpayers. We can afford only the best.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of these officers filled in application forms for permanent commissions some three years ago, and have not yet been told whether or not they are to be given permanent commissions? Will the hon. Gentleman do something about this quickly?

Mr. de Freitas

I understand that the scheme did not start until March, 1944, but if there are any which have been long outstanding and the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me examples of them, I will look into them.

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