§ 20. Sir A. V. Harvey
asked the Secretary of State for Air how many officers of the rank of air commodore and above are due for retirement during the present year.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
Can my hon. Friend say how many air commodores have been declared redundant and how the figure compares with officers of more senior rank? Will he say what is being done to get these men satisfactory jobs in civilian life?
There is a total of 140 air commodores in the Royal Air Force of whom 17, that is, 12 per cent., have been declared redundant. This number compares with the figure of 4 per cent. of other officers in the Royal Air Force. With reference to the second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary, it has been announced in the House on several occasions that machinery has been set up on an inter-Service basis to deal with the resettlement of officers, and it is progressing very satisfactorily at the moment.
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he has any idea what Soviet reaction is likely to be when the Russians hear that so many of these air commodores are regarded as redundant?
§ Sir P. Agnew
May I ask my hon. Friend whether his reply means that when the 34 are retired only 17 group captains will be promoted to air commodores to replace them?
That is a complicated question. I should prefer to see it on the Order Paper and have due notice of it rather than give a snap answer.