HC Deb 05 April 1965 vol 710 cc14-5
16. Commander Courtney

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that no over-strict adherence to the principle of common application to all three fighting Services will prevent him from taking the special steps necessary as a matter of urgency to correct both the falling rate of re-engagement among long-service ratings of the Royal Navy and the loss of supplementary list aircrew officers due to the exercise of options to leave the service at breakpoints during their commission.

Mr. Mayhew

Yes, Sir. I think that this has been shown by recent announcements.

Commander Courtney

Will the hon. Gentleman consider two specific measures to remedy this serious situation in the case of aircrew? The first is the reinstitution of flying pay, which used to be paid in the old days. That is a specific allowance. Secondly, there is the cross-posting of more junior officers from the Royal Air Force in view of the much more satisfactory recruiting situation in that service.

Mr. Mayhew

We are making a study of measures to overcome our difficulty with aircrew, and those are among the things that we shall consider.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the attitude of the Government towards light flying and civil flying in general does not show any great enthusiasm and that that alone has a discouraging effect on the recruitment of aircrew?

Mr. Mayhew

Light flying is another question.