HC Deb 15 July 1941 vol 373 c480W
Mr. Boyce

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will authorise officers in the Army, who qualified and served as observers in the last Great War, to wear their observers' badges in the same manner as qualified pilots are permitted to wear their appropriate flying badges on Army uniforms, and thus remove the distinction that at present exists between the treatment accorded to officers in the Army and to those in the Royal Air Force in this respect?

Sir A. Sinclair

Originally the right to wear "wings" was granted only to Army officers who were also qualified pilots, during secondment to the R.A.F. or during the. period when they had a mobilisation liability to the R.A.F. This created a precedent which was later extended to permit all suitably qualified Army personnel to wear "wings" on Army uniform. Nevertheless R.A.F. flying badges are not personal insignia; they are a part of Royal Air Force uniform and the right to wear them with other types of uniform cannot be admitted. As no soldier has ever had a R.A.F. mobilisation liability as an observer, I regret that there would be no grounds for the concession suggested by my hon. Friend.