HC Deb 25 January 1973 vol 849 c625
7. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will re-form No. 502 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force (Lord Lambton)

This question is something of an old friend. I can only reply as I have done previously that I have no plans to re-form this unit.

Mr. Wilkinson

May I remind my hon. Friend that No. 502 Squadron was the first special reserve squadron formed for the Royal Air Force and could appropriately be the first reserve squadron to be re-formed now to fulfil a special need, namely for border and coastal surveillance and casualty evacuation and to build up the local indigenous forces under the Crown, particularly at a time when the Irish Army aviation is re-equipping with armed Cessnas and is perhaps even considering armed jet Provosts?

Lord Lambton

No one would deny that the re-forming would have certain uses but what we have to consider is whether they would be adequate bearing in mind the amount of money that would be spent.