Air Training Corps Cadet (Kingston-upon-Thames)

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames 12:00, 3 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will order an inquiry into the arrangements made by Royal Air Force Station, Scampton, for a course for Air Training Corps cadets and to the failure to give proper care to a cadet attending that course as a member of No. 328 Kingston Air Training Corps, particulars of which have been sent to him by the right hon Member for Kingston-upon-Thames.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

No, Sir. I told the right hon. Gentleman in my letter of 27th November that I have been into this case very carefully and I am satisfied that the arrangements made for this cadet, both before and after his accident, were fully satisfactory.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his very courteous and detailed letter, which I acknowledge, may I ask him whether he is aware that on the facts as he indicates them this child was sent to hospital with severe head injuries in an ambulance containing no one other than the driver? Is that not a very unfortunate way to treat a child entrusted to his Department for training?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I am not sure that the cadet would be flattered by the description of the right hon. Gentleman. He certainly does not regard himself as a child.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

As to the seriousness of his injuries, no doctor who examined him either at the time of the accident or in hospital after it described his injuries as serious. The ambulance that took the cadet to hospital was one of those in which the patient and the driver—the driver being a competent medical auxiliary—were able to keep in close touch. I am informed that they were in conversation throughout the journey.