§ Sir C. Rawson
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why an Army officer has been appointed to command the 53rd squadron, Royal Air Force; how many Royal Air Force officers with the requisite seniority were passed over when this appointment was made; how many Army officers are commanding flights in the Royal Air Force; and whether there are no Royal Air Force officers competent to fill these positions?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead
The appointment of the officer referred to was in conformity with the general policy agreed with the War Office for the employment of Army officers seconded to the Royal Air Force. As regards the second part of the question, appointments to the com-1156W mand of squadrons are not made in order of seniority but officers are posted to fill vacancies in their rank in accordance with Service requirements. At the time of this officer's promotion, he was number 216 in the gradation list of flight lieutenants when promoted to squadron leader. I ought to explain that in addition to his nine years' service with the Royal Air Force he had 11 years' Army service. As regards the third part of the question, there are at present 14 Army officers commanding flights in the Royal Air Force. As regards the last part of the question, there are Royal Air Force officers competent to fill these posts, but the appointment was in accordance with the policy to which I have already referred.