asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the difference between the wages of Grade II tradesmen who have done eight months training at Uxbridge and 18 months service at, Henlow, and the wages of those similar employés who have had three years at Halton, about two to three years in a squadron, and then 12 months on their course?
The rates of pay depend on degree of trade skill and on length of service. The pay of a flight mechanic (Group II), if passing out of training as an aircraftman, 1st class, is 28s. a week, while that of a Grade I fitter, qualifying as such with three years' service as leading aircraftman, is 42s. a week, in addition, in each case, to free accommodation, rations and clothing or allowances in lieu, good conduct badge pay of 1s. 9d. a week after three years' service, and, at age 26, marriage allowance if married.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that leading aircraftmen who have passed a trade test receive only 38s. 6d. per week, and owing to the slowness of movement have small opportunity of being promoted for six or seven years or more; and whether, to retain and engage good men, it is possible, especially in these days of increased expenditure on the Air Force, to improve the chances of promotion among these employés?
The rate of pay quoted is the initial rate issuable to an airman on qualifying for the classification of leading aircraftman in a Group I trade, and it is increased to 42s. a week after three years. Free accommodation, rations and clothing, or allowances in lieu, are provided in addition, and the airman is eligible for good conduct badge pay of 1s. 9d. a week after three years' service, and, at age 26, marriage allowance, if married. The arrangements are designed to ensure that airmen receive advancement when their experience renders them suitable for greater responsibility. A much increased flow of promotion will, in fact, occur in the near future as a result of the present expansion of the Force.
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this is sufficient pay for these men after the number of years they have served, or that it will attract other men into the Service?