HC Deb 19 July 1950 vol 477 cc2235-6
6. Mr. Profumo

asked the Secretary of State for Air when the Departmental committees considering the condition of pay and service in the Royal Air Force are expected to complete their inquiries; and when he hopes to be able to make a statement.

Mr. A. Henderson

The comprehensive examination of life in the Services in all its aspects, referred to by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence on 16th March, is being pressed forward as quickly as possible, but I am unable to say when it will be completed.

Mr. Profumo

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the whole of the future of the Air Force and the new recruits to that Service depends on the reports from these committees? Does he not think that the situation is sufficiently serious for him to use his good offices to have their reports speeded up?

Mr. Henderson

I welcome anything which helps recruiting.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman give any estimate of when this survey will be completed?

Mr. Henderson

I would not like to commit myself, but, as I say in my answer, I do not think it will be very long.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Will it be a matter of weeks, months, or years?

Mr. Henderson

As I say I would not like to commit myself, but I hope it will be a matter of weeks.

Squadron Leader Burden

Does the Minister realise that a great many officers in the Force are at the present moment in serious financial difficulties, and that their experience is one of the causes of the lack of recruitment at the moment? Unless and until the Government do something about pay and allowances we shall not get the recruitment which is absolutely necessary.