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Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if the artificer-apprentices who are now being discharged and who are to be taken on in the Royal Air Force will be allowed to engage for long service; will they be fully-fledged tradesmen after serving in the Royal Air Force and will the Admiralty take them back as engine-room artificers in the event of there being vacancies?

These artificer-apprentices will be transferred to the Royal Air Force to serve the un-expired part of their 12 years' engagement in the Navy. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the third part of the question these men will transfer to the Royal Air Force for the purpose of serving in that Force, and the question of re-entry in the Royal Navy will not arise.

Does my hon. and gallant Friend mean that all these apprentices will be accepted into the Air Force?

I hope so, but I am not in a position to give quite a definite answer.