§ Mr. Liddall
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will give instructions that non-commissioned officers in the Royal Air Force now under training for air crews, but whose course of training was delayed because of their value as technicians, are not to be penalised because, under the recent Order, they temporarily lose their badges of rank whereas others, accepted after a shorter period of waiting, are permitted to retain their non-commissioned officer rank?
§ Sir A. Sinclair
The object of the Order to which I presume my hon. Friend refers is to ensure that all airmen entering training for aircrew duties are of equal status, thus leaving commanding officers free to select "leaders" on merit during the training period. Airmen whose rank is temporarily in abeyance during aircrew training do not suffer financially, as their emoluments are not affected. It was considered only reasonable, however, that airmen of warrant or N.C.O. rank who had 229W already proceeded beyond the initial stage of their training should be allowed to retain their rank badges for the remainder of their course. When these particular airmen have completed their training, the anomaly to which my hon. Friend refers will disappear.