HC Deb 13 August 1919 vol 119 c1324W

asked the Under-Secretary to the Air Ministry how far demobilisation of the Air Force and Ministry, in men, hotels, and flying grounds, has proceded since the date of the Armistice?

Major-General SEELY

So far as officers and other ranks of the Royal Air Force are concerned, I would refer my hon. Friend to the figures I gave in my speech of yesterday. So far as the Women's Royal Air Force is' concerned, the strength at the time of the Armistice of officers and other ranks were 532 and 23,485 respectively; the corresponding figures for 1st August were 407 and 15,700. I also gave yesterday the number of officers employed in all Departments of the Air Ministry at the date of the Armistice and the present strength, but on reference to the report of my speech, I see that I am reported as having said that the figures in question, namely, 806 and 402, referred to the staff of the Ministry in all Departments. The figure I quoted from the paper before me referred to the officer staff. The total strength of the Air Ministry Departments on the 11thNovember was 4,640, and the corresponding figure for 1st August was 3,230. It must be remembered that the staff of the Civil Aviation Department has been added during this time. Arrangements are in contemplation for further considerable reductions to be made during the next two months, and the transfer of the Air Ministry from the Hotel Cecil to Kingsway, which has now taken place, is expected to facilitate such reduction. As regards the surrender of flying grounds, I would again refer my hon. Friend to my speech of yesterday: and as regards the evacuation of hotels, the reply I made on the 7th instant to the hon. and gallant Member for Leith.