HL Deb 06 April 1933 vol 87 cc458-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, last year in moving the Army and Air Force (Annual) Bill, I had to explain to your Lordships there were a large number of amendments to be made. I am glad to say that this year, particularly at this late hour, I have to tell your Lordships there are only two amendments, neither of which is of very great importance. They will affect the Air Force Act and not the Army Act, and they are both contained in Clause 4 of the Bill. As your Lordships know, the Government of India have decided to raise an Indian Air Force, which will be entirely Indian in its composition, although in its earlier stages it will be assisted by a loan of a few Royal Air Force officers and men in air instructional capacity. In consequence of that, under Clause 4 (1), it is proposed to give mutual powers of command to the officers of the two Services when units of the two Services are serving together at the same station or engaged in joint training or operations. The actual powers to be given in any specific circumstances will be decided between the Air Ministry and the India Office, and laid down in the regulations for the clause makes prevision.

In Clause 4 (2) it is proposed to provide that when the personnel of the Indian Air Force are attached as individuals to the Royal Air Force outside India they shall, subject to exception in special cases, become subject to the Air Force Act. If attached in India, they will remain subject to the Indian Air Force Act which, I understand, was passed in 1932. The remaining parts of Clause 4 are entirely consequential, and there is a clause which brings these changes into operation on the 30th day of April, instead of when the rest of the Act comes into operation outside the United Kingdom, the reason being that the Indian Air Force starts, I under- stand, its existence from that day. There is nothing else in the Bill which differs from the normal form in which the Bill appears before your Lordships every year, and I do not think, therefore, that I need say anything further about it. I ask your Lordships to allow this Bill to be read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª—(Earl Stanhope.)

On Question, Bill read 2ª, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

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