HC Deb 19 July 1954 vol 530 cc982-3
51. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how the approximate costs of training a bomber pilot today compares with the costs of training a bomber pilot in 1945.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

It cost about £10,000 in 1945 and it costs about £25,000 today.

Mr. Hughes

What is the explanation for this phenomenal increase?

Mr. Ward

There are several factors, including the increased performance and complexity of the aircraft, the additional cost of the aircraft spares and fuel, and pay increases.

Mr. Beswick

Is the last figure which the hon. Gentleman gives the figure for the V-bomber or an earlier type?

Mr. Ward

It is up to the time the pilot goes to a present-day squadron.

Mr. H. Morrison

The figure of £25,000 seems an enormous sum to spend on training one bomber pilot. Will the hon. Gentleman be so good as to circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT, or otherwise, details as to how the figure is made up? The House would be interested, because, after all, we are the guardians of public expenditure, and we ought to know.

Mr. Ward

I will certainly look into that suggestion.

Mr. Shinwell

Does it not seem as if prices are going up since the Conservative Government came into office?