HC Deb 20 May 1953 vol 515 cc2060-1
34. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will make a further statement on arrangements to enable flying instructors, displaced by the closure of flying schools, to find alternative employment as pilots.

Mr. Ward

Up to date, 50 flying instructors have been offered appointments in the Royal Air Force as pilots and a further 22 commissions in the ground branches. About 30 more have received offers of employment as civil pilots. Arrangements have been made in conjunction with my right hon. Friends the Ministers of Labour and Civil Aviation that, where such offers depend upon the instructor obtaining additional qualifications, financial help will be given to him during his training course. Many others have found posts elsewhere, and we have given them all the advice and assistance we could.

Inevitably, there are cases where instructors have not so far found alternative employment. Some of these have applied to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund for help, and the Air Council has made a special grant of £2,500 from R.A.F. Prize Money in recognition of what the Fund is doing for them.

Wing Commander Bullus

Is my hon. Friend aware that this information will give general satisfaction to all sides of the House, especially to those of us who have sought for so long to try to get these men a fair deal?

Mr. de Freitas

Is the Minister aware that although it will give some satisfaction, there are still many of these officers who are unemployed and that there is valuable experience in these men; and will he do everything he possibly can to make use of them?

Mr. Ward

indicated assent.