Recognition of voluntary organisations of this kind by the Board is limited to recognition for grant. An application for grant aid from one unit of the Women's Junior Air Corps is now under consideration by my Department. There is no proposal to prevent girls joining existing units of this Corps.
Is it not the case that girls now in this Corps are being asked to merge with another Corps, the Girls' Training Corps, and is it not a fact that the Women's Junior Air Corps, which has something like 1,800 members, pay for their own uniforms, which would be wasted if there was a merger? They are very averse from merging with another body.
I do not think that of necessity any uniforms which have been purchased will be wasted. The National Association of Girls' Training Corps is a national body to which various other units are affiliated. I can only say that while there is no undertaking that any girl in the Women's Junior Air Corps will be accepted in the Women's Auxiliary Air Service, it is felt desirable that this body should be affiliated with the body that covers all the girls in the nation between 16 and 18 years of age.
I must press the hon. Gentleman. Is it not the case that these are purely voluntary bodies, and if these girls prefer to remain in their own Corps, is there any particular object in forcing them to merge with another body?
I have not suggested that they should merge. No such suggestion has been made by the Board of Education, but I think it highly desirable that this unit should affiliate to a national organisation to which such well-established units as the Girl Guides and the Girls' Life Brigade have affiliated.