HC Deb 30 March 1955 vol 539 c343
1. Mr. Swingler

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air his estimate of the financial saving in his Department which would result from reducing the National Service period by six months.

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

The direct saving in pay, allowances, accommodation, etc., resulting from the reduced numbers of National Service men in the Air Force would amount of £8 million. But the total financial effect would depend upon the extent to which the power of the Royal Air Force would have to be reduced to match the available manpower.

Mr. Swingler

Is not the Under-Secretary aware that this money could be much better used for improving the pay and conditions of volunteers in the Air Force? Since the Korean Armistice there is no real justification for this long period of conscription. Will not the Under-Secretary consider how this saving could be made for the purpose of attracting more volunteers?

Mr. Ward

The hon. Gentleman knows that we are doing everything we can to attract long-term Regulars. We would much sooner have them. He also knows that the Air Force played very little part in the Korean War.