HC Deb 02 February 1949 vol 460 cc1674-5
44. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for Air how long it is before passing out cadets can be promoted; whether this is a fixed time; and if knowledge, skill, experience and conduct are taken into consideration.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Geoffrey de Freitas)

Cadets are usually promoted from aircrew IV to aircrew III on the second anniversary of their beginning aircrew training. The qualities referred to in the last part of the Question are taken into consideration.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Minister aware that the uncertainty as to their future prevents many first-class young men coming forward, because their previous experience is not taken into consideration, and that that fact is one of the reasons for the unsatisfactory response to recruiting?

Mr. de Freitas

I do not follow that supplementary question, but if the hon. Member is referring to people who started their training before the beginning of 1947, the position has been changed in the last few days.

Sir W. Smithers

A good job, too.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

Is it not the policy of the Air Ministry to pay attention to those cadets who before joining up served in the Air Cadet Corps?

Mr. de Freitas

Yes, certainly. I should add to my last answer that the point of this regulation is that the last stage of air crew training varies in length and we do not want to penalise the man who has a longer course in his last stage.