§ 4. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Secretary of State for Air how many courts-martial have been held in the last 12 months to deal with offences committed by members serving with the Royal Air Force in Germany; and whether, in such cases, the Press and public are admitted
§ Mr. Shinwell
Was not that a rather large number of courts-martial? How does the right hon. Gentleman account for the number? Further, can he say whether, in order to allay disquiet, he proposes to follow the example of the Secretary of State for War by imposing discipline preventing unmarried personnel from being out after 12 o'clock at night?
§ Mr. Collard
Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is no reason whatever to suppose that the discipline of the Royal Air Force in Germany is not of the very highest order?
§ Mr. Shinwell
I do not in any way suggest that the discipline is ineffective or that it should be harsher than it is, but can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Services differ as regards matters of discipline?
§ Mr. Burden
Is it not far better to improve the facilities such as N.A.A.F.I. clubs and so on rather than increase discipline in these areas in order to improve morale?
§ Mr. Amery
If my hon. Friend will visit Germany, he will find that the facilities are pretty good in the N.A.A.F.I. and so on. I think that there is no shortcoming on that side. As I say, our judgment, as at present advised, is that there is no need to take any exceptional measures in the Royal Air Force.
§ Mr. Mulley
Can the Secretary of State give a little more information about the 75 courts-martial? Can he put them in perspective and say how they compare with previous years, giving an indication of the proportion of courts-martial concerned with disciplinary matters with reference to relations with civilians, bashing up cafés and so on? I was in Berlin only yesterday, and I found that the Royal Air Force there had no discipline problems and there was no cause for any anxiety at all. Also, when I was with Second A.T.A.F. in January, there were no serious disciplinary matters there. I understand that a great many of the crimes were technical or civilian motoring offences. Can the right hon. Gentleman say how the 75 compare with previous years and what number accounts for motoring offences and the like and what number relates to what would be regarded as serious disciplinary matters?