Officers (Air Training).

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy. – in the House of Commons on 25th July 1922.

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Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

69.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will clear up misunderstandings by stating the reasons why young officers were not forthcoming when the Air Ministry asked if 400 could be seconded from the Royal Navy?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

There is no record at the Admiralty of the Air Ministry having asked for a definite number of officers (400) to be seconded to the Royal Air Force. Early in 1920, however, the Air Ministry asked that a certain number might be seconded for training as pilots, and, after discussion, a Fleet Order was issued in July, 1920, inviting officers to volunteer. The response to this invitation was very unsatisfactory, in spite of senior officers having been asked to bring the matter to the notice of young officers, and only seven names were received, these seven starting training in. Spetember, 1920. During the winter of 1920–21 further discussion took place with the Air Ministry with a view to the seconding of a further number of officers, the ultimate, total aimed at being 100, but the conditions, which the Admiralty thought were necessary to secure enough volunteers to make the scheme a success, were found to be unacceptable to the Air Ministry. As there appeared to be no possibility of agreement, the matter dropped, the Air Ministry taking steps to find from other sources all the pilots required. The Admiralty have, of course, no power to second an officer to another service without his consent.

Photo of Mr Bertram Falle Mr Bertram Falle , Portsmouth North

Will the offer be repeated?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I am willing to discuss the matter with the hon. and gallant Member.