HC Deb 13 November 1957 vol 577 cc56-7W
92. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the prevailing uncertainty among Royal Air Force Auxiliary personnel about the future of the remaining Auxiliary units; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Ward

Yes. As I explained to the House earlier this year, the Control and Reporting System is in process of being re-equipped and reorganised. This process is producing economies both in units and in establishments, and for that reason we were unable to justify at the beginning of this year the retention of more than twenty-one of the original total of thirty Fighter Control and Radar Reporting Units.

In the nature of things, there can never be complete certainty about the long-term requirement for these Auxiliary units, and it is now clear that there is no longer any requirement to justify the retention of three of these twenty-one units. We have, in consequence, no option but to disband them. The future of a further five units is in doubt, but, so far as we can foresee, we shall have a continuing requirement for the remaining thirteen. Particulars of the units falling into each category are appended.

I should like to express our sincere thanks to the public-spirited men and women of the three units which are to be disbanded. The date of disbandment will be the 1st February, 1958, but all training will cease forthwith. Bounties will be paid on the same basis as for the earlier disbandment, i.e. personnel who transfer to the R.Aux.A.F. Reserve as an alternative to discharge will be paid bounty apportioned to the date of disbandment and, in addition, one year's bounty, or proportionate bounty to the end of their current engagement if it ceases in the year.

I would like to make a special appeal to the personnel of the units at Brighton. Bristol, Stockton-on-Tees, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the future of which is in doubt, to continue to give their voluntary service. They can rest assured that their units will not be disbanded unless changes in our operational requirements made this inevitable.

Following are the units in each category:

Fighter Control Units being retained.

No. 3500 (County of Kent) F.C.U. Margate.

No. 3502 (City of Belfast) F.C.U. Edenmore.

No. 3505 (East Riding) F.C.U. Sutton-on-Hull.

No. 3506 (County of Northampton) F.C.U. Peterborough.

No. 3508 (County of Northumberland) F.C.U. Long Benton.

No. 3511 (City of Dundee) F.C.U. Dundee.

No. 3604 (County of Middlesex) F.C.U. London.

No. 3609 (West Riding) F.C.U. Yeadon.

No. 3612 (County of Aberdeen) F.C.U. Dyce.

No. 3617 (County of Hampshire) F.C.U. Bournemouth.

No. 3618 (County of Sussex) F.C.U. Eastbourne.

No. 3619 (County of Suffolk) F.C.U. Ipswich.

No. 3620 (County of Norfolk) F.C.U. Norwich.

Fighter Control Units and Radar Reporting Unit whose future is at present in doubt.

No. 3507 (County of Somerset) F.C.U. Bristol.

No. 3602 (City of Glasgow) F.C.U. Glasgow.

No. 3608 (North Riding) F.C.U. Stockton-on-Tees.

No. 3603 (City of Edinburgh) F.C.U. Edinburgh.

No. 3701 (County of Sussex) R.R.U. Brighton.

Fighter Control Units to be disbanded.

No. 3611 (West Lancashire) F.C.U. Liverpool.

No. 3613 (City of Manchester) F.C.U. Manchester.

No. 3621 (North Lancashire) F.C.U. Blackpool.