HC Deb 21 May 1947 vol 437 cc2304-5
12. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for Air the present strength of the A.T.C.; and the maximum allowed.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker)

The present strength of the A.T.C. is about 47,000 The maximum strength allowed is 75,000.

Mr. Lindsay

Is it not rather a pity that this excellent corps is being allowed to run down like this? What is my right hon. Friend doing to encourage them?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I think it was inevitable that there should be some drop after the war. But that drop was arrested at the end of last year, and the force is now increasing.

Mr. Sidney Shephard

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the strength of the force as compared with a year ago?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Considerably less. A year ago it was about 57,000. It fell at the end of January to 46,600, and has since begun to increase.