asked the Secretary of State for Air why the award of a badge to the Air Sea Rescue Service is confined to non-commissioned ranks?
The Air Sea Rescue Service badge is not a meritorious award but a distinguishing mark worn by airmen. It is not the custom in the Royal Air Force for officers to wear such marks, with the exception of those who are qualified as aircrew or whose service is confined to the Medical, Dental, or Educational Branches, or to the Royal Air Force Regiment.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the resentment felt among the various sections of the Forces, who regard this decision as being a most undemocratic decision?
Oh, no, Sir; it is really not undemocratic. The position is that these are general duties officers and officers of the Administrative and Special Duties Branch who may be in the Air Rescue Service one month and in Fighter or Bomber Commands the next. The only marks they wear are those which are permanent and which they wear the whole time.