HC Deb 27 October 1954 vol 531 cc1915-6
39. Mr. Crouch

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the number of officers who have responded to the letter A520210/43/AR4 which has been sent to men who have completed their engagements.

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

Five hundred and twenty-five, so far.

Mr. Crouch

Is my hon. Friend aware that the letter has given a great deal of offence to its recipients? Does he seriously expect experienced pilots who have had many thousands of hours of flying time to go, on the completion of their engagements, into the territorial side of the R.A.F. as non-commissioned officers and, in the event of war, have to work up to the rank which they previously held? Ought he not to withdraw the letter and send a wiser one?

Mr. Ward

No, Sir. The letter does not invite officers to take non-commissioned rank. It invites them either to relinquish their commissions or to extend their service on the understanding that they will be given no flying training.