Air Efficiency Award

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ralph Etherton Mr Ralph Etherton , Stretford 12:00 am, 14th October 1942

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the Air Efficiency Award is equal in status to the Efficiency Decoration awarded in the Army; and whether recipients of the Air Efficiency Award are entitled to add the letters A.E.A. to their names as in the case of the T.D.?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

As it is of more recent creation, the Air Efficiency Award will be worn after the Efficiency Decoration. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

Photo of Mr Ralph Etherton Mr Ralph Etherton , Stretford

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend take steps to remove this inequality, so that officers and men can use the letters A.E.A after their names or alternatively the letters T.D., in the same way as Army officers do?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

No, Sir. If the Government were once to start on the slippery slope of allowing the holders of medals not awarded for gallantry to use initials after their names the practice would become so common as to be scarcely worth any distinction at all. There is the Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserves Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, and there is the Board of Trade Rocket Apparatus Volunteer Long Service Medal. For these the appropriate initials would be R.N.A.S., S.B., L.S. and G.C.M. and B.T.R.A.L.S.M., and I think the hon. Member would see that for holders of these medals to have these long strings of initials after their names would not be really very suitable.

Photo of Mr Ralph Etherton Mr Ralph Etherton , Stretford

While appreciating the humour of what my right hon. and gallant Friend has said, may I ask whether it would not be right and proper to see that the Air Force are put on the same footing as the Army in this matter because officers in the Army are allowed to put these letters after their names? Why should not those in the Air Force be put in the same position when they receive similar awards?

Photo of Mr Harold Balfour Mr Harold Balfour , Isle of Thanet

Because in the case of the Army the decoration is for officers only. In the case of the Air Force we have a common decoration for officers and airmen.