§ 8. Mr. Hurd
asked the Secretary of State for Air what were the reasons for the delay in carrying out the court of inquiry at Royal Air Force Kidlington Headquarters, 42nd Group, which was originally convened on 13th August, 1948, but not completed until mid-November; and at what date his Department gave authority for Pilot Officer R. R. Williams, who was due for release on 11th August, to be retained in the Service during this time.
§ Mr. de Freitas
I regret that the proceedings of this court of inquiry should have been protracted. The delay was due to changes in presidency and the need to make a full investigation into the facts. In a letter dated 16th July, 1948, my Department authorised the release of Pilot Officer Williams on 9th August, 1948, subject to the normal proviso under which release may be delayed where an officer or airman is required to give evidence before a court martial or a court of inquiry. He was retained until he had completed his evidence before the court of inquiry in question and two others with which he was concerned.