asked the Under Secretary of State for Air whether he will give an assurance that demobilisation groups from the Far East are still being released at the same lime as comparable groups in this country.
Yes, Sir. Airmen from the Far East are now being generally released within the same period as comparable groups in this country. Naturally there are sometimes difficulties to be overcome in getting men home from a distance, but I hope that as a rule we shall continue to be successful in this important task.
asked the Under Secretary of State for Air whether as regards releases from the R.A.F., the position of clerks in the accounts branch may be considered, as many of these men have not been permitted to change their category in the same way that some trades in the R.A.F. have been able to do.
asked the Under Secretary of State for Air, if he is aware that men who were members of the R.A.F.V.R. who were called up on 3rd September 1939, and have served continuously since then, many of them overseas, are being refused release for considerable periods ahead because they happen to be in the accounts branch; that this differentiation of treatment as compared with other branches is causing dissatisfaction, both among the men concerned and their families; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the principle of first in, first out, is applied to these men as to others.
I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave on 10th October to my hon. Friend, the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Palmer).
asked the Under-secretary of State for Air, what is the reason for the reduction in the rate of R.A.F. releases whereby, while 14 groups are to be released from the Navy and seven from the Army during the January-June period, only three will be released from the R.A.F., from which service only 23,000 per month will be released during that period as compared with 66,000 per month during the present quarter; and whether he will have the situation reviewed, with the object of removing the feeling throughout that service, that the R.A.F. is at a disadvantage, compared with the Navy and the Army, in this matter.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why the proposed rate of release from the R.A.F. for the period December onwards compares so unfavourably with that for the other Services; and will he give active consideration to its speed up.
I would refer my hon. Friends to the statement I made in reply to the Debate on the Adjournment, on 12th October, to which I have at present nothing to add.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what percentage of wartime meteorological officers in the R.A.F.V.R. have now been released; and what percentage of wartime civilian meteorological officers have now been released.
Excluding compassionate releases, 4 per cent, of the wartime meteorological officers in the R.A.F.V.R. and 3½ per cent, of the civilian meteorological officers have been released up to 30th September.
asked the Undersecretary of State for Air whether he is aware that airmen, due for group release at two stations within nine miles of Karachi, are first sent to Worti, Bombay, by rail, involving hundreds of miles travel and occupying several days, and then flown by internal air routes back to Karachi where the dispatch centre is located; and whether he will have this routing shortened.
I am obliged to my hon. Friend for this Question. I am looking into the matter and will communicate with him.
asked the Under-secretary of State for Air whether he has considered the case, details of which have been submitted to him, of a university graduate in arts, holding a commission in the R.A.F., Signals branch, who for whom no arrangements for release have been made, and if he will enable this man to resume research at London University interrupted by his war service.
My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service is considering this case and he will communicate with the hon. Member.