§ 4. Mr. Lipton
asked the Secretary of State for Air why recruitment for the Royal Air Force fell from 1,642 in August, 1956, to 752 in August. 1957; and what action he is taking to improve recruitment.
The falling off in 1957 has occurred primarily in recruitment on short-term engagements. In fact, the entry of apprentices and boys shows an increase of some 30 per cent, compared with 1956. As regards the second part of the Question, I would ask the hon. Gentleman to await the Answer to be given later to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler).
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the Secretary of State aware that on those deplorable figures we shall, before long, have no Air Force at all, unless National Service is continued indefinitely; and as we are not getting the men and have not the machines, what is he doing with the £500 million Air Estimates that we gave him a few months ago?
I think the hon. Member will agree that if we are to have an all-Regular force by 1962, the main people are the long-service ones—the apprentices and boys—and, as I say, recruiting for them is very encouraging.