HC Deb 25 May 1960 vol 624 c416
2. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he has taken to utilise more efficiently the manpower of the Royal Air Force ceremonial unit; and what savings have thereby resulted.

Mr. W. J. Taylor

None, Sir. This unit is fully occupied in meeting the ceremonial commitments of the Royal Air Force. I see no scope at present for reducing it in size.

Mr. Boyden

Is the Minister so dazzled by the colossal extravagance of Blue Streak that he cannot apply his mind to saving a few thousand pounds? Could he not bring this unit out of winter hibernation, cut the size of guards and escorts, and so save taxpayers at least some thousands of pounds?

Mr. Taylor

I regard it as important that the Royal Air Force should be seen, and seen at its best, on major public occasions of this kind. No one who saw the standard of the unit's performance during General de Gaulle's visit or the Royal wedding could really think that it was wasting its time.