Education Branch

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th March 1959.

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Photo of Mr Eric Johnson Mr Eric Johnson , Manchester, Blackley 12:00 am, 25th March 1959

asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent the Education Branch of the Royal Air Force is undermanned overall; and how many redundancies there are in the rank of wing commander and squadron leader for existing established posts.

Mr. Ward:

By about 15 per cent. A small number of wing commanders are at present in posts which would normally be filled by squadron leaders, but until the future structure of the Branch is decided in detail it is not possible to say how many will be redundant.

Photo of Mr Eric Johnson Mr Eric Johnson , Manchester, Blackley

Is it the intention of my right hon. Friend to maintain the policy of employing wing commanders and squadron leaders in posts which could be filled by junior officers?

Mr. Ward:

No, Sir. I hope that when the final structure is approved these wing commanders will be either promoted or become redundant.

Photo of Mr Eric Johnson Mr Eric Johnson , Manchester, Blackley

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many officers of the Education Branch of the Royal Air Force have been allowed to serve beyond the age of 60, and in what rank and on what grounds.

Mr. Ward:

One air vice marshal and one group captain. Both have been retained for particular tasks.

Photo of Mr Eric Johnson Mr Eric Johnson , Manchester, Blackley

While in no way questioning the value of the services given by these officers, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether, in view of the existing hold-up in promotion, this also does not aggravate to some extent the already serious position?

Mr. Ward:

The only effect has been on promotion to group captain and above. In the rank of wing commander there is a small number of over-bearings.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Lincoln

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is considerable discontent among junior officers in this branch? When will he be in a position to tell the House of the results of his investigations and review?

Mr. Ward:

I apologise for the fact that this is taking rather a long time, but the problem has been complicated by the need to relate our earlier proposals to a change in the requirement. I will make a statement as soon as I can. The important thing is to get the answer right.