HC Deb 09 October 1946 vol 427 cc185-6
42. Wing-Commander Roland Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for Air what progress has been made in the enlistment of recruits in the R.A.F.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The Royal Air Force is seriously short of volunteers for enlistment. There have been recent signs of an upward trend but there is still a long way to go. We shall need help from all quarters in securing recruits, and I am anxious that the House should have full information about what is being done. I am therefore considering whether it would be useful to publish progress reports at regular intervals of time.

Wing-Commander Robinson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how far the intake of new recruits falls short of the needs of the Service?

Mr. Noel-Baker

That is very difficult to say with an upward trend, but there is still a very large deficit.

Mr. Ronald Chamberlain

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he is yet prepared to accept recruits for the women's unit? At the moment they are being refused and many wish to join or rejoin.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Perhaps my hon. Friend can let me have his information on the subject.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Will the Minister give an assurance that, in future, the Royal Air Force will not wait for the Army to come out with improvements in the Service but will be original in this matter, and will make the Service attractive for the purpose of their recruiting campaign?