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Vote a. Number for Air Force Service

Part of Orders of the Day — Air Estimates, 1962–63 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th March 1962.

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Photo of Mr Eric Bullus Mr Eric Bullus , Wembley North 12:00 am, 12th March 1962

I well remember that. I think that that is covered by my reference to the great improvements which have taken place not only in the last twelve years but in the last twelve months.

Will my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State tell us something about the Air Training Corp's recruiting record? I know that during the war there were nearly 250,000 cadets and that there is a fine record for gallantry among ex-air training corps cadets. I understand that the corps today numbers about 30,000 cadets and that the aim is to make entry a privilege for which boys will strive hard.

Perhaps the Minister would consider the formation of overseas squadrons. I am sure that there are many children of serving personnel in places such as Singapore, Cyprus and Aden who can usefully and happily be recruited to Air Training Corps overseas squadrons. Will the Under-Secretary of State give this suggestion consideration?

I now come to a parochial point. I have written to the Under-Secretary of State about the accommodation problem of No. 78 (Wembley) Air Training Corps Squadron in my borough. I am grateful for his acknowledgement of my communication, and I hope that his efforts will provide a satisfactory and happy solution for the young cadets in my borough. I am well aware that accommodation for the Air Training Corps is a difficult matter, but the Under-Secretary of State will agree that it is essential that members of these units must have their own accommodation if they are to prosper. I am confident that we must look more and more to these trainees. They are our hope for the future.

In conclusion, I make no excuse for quoting the written aims of the Corps. These are set out in the new Royal Warrant of 1947, and I imagine that they have not often been quoted in this Chamber. They are: To promote and encourage among young men a practical interest in aviation and to fit them to serve their country in Our Air Force, its reserves and auxiliary, and also in Our Navy and in Our Army;To provide training which will be useful both in the Air Services and in civil life;To foster the spirit of adventure, to promote sports and pastimes in healthy rivalry; and to develop the qualities of mind and body which go to the making of a leader and a good citizen. Few will disagree with these aims. Many of our hopes lie in their fulfilment.