HC Deb 07 August 1941 vol 373 c2135W
Mr. Mort

asked the Secretary of State for Air why the age limits of 21 to 35 years of age have been fixed for civilian employment in the meteorological section of the Royal Air Force, thus debarring men of considerable educational attainments and scientific experience from rendering valuable service to the nation?

Sir A. Sinclair

The age limits to which the hon. Member refers relate only to one grade of meteorological staff, namely, forecasters, who comprise less than one-half of the total number of new entrants during the last three months. The reason for this limitation of age is that it has been found necessary to give forecaster candidates an intensive course of training in the theory and practice of forecasting. A university degree in physics or mathematics is necessary for this purpose, and is not usually possessed by men below the age of 21. As regards the upper age limit experience has shown that men well over 30 generally take much longer than younger men to attain the standard of proficiency required. For this reason, 35 has been fixed as the upper age limit for forecaster candidates. For other meteorological work, older men as well as women and boys are accepted.