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Royal Air Force

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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Electoral Lists (Service Declarations)

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he is taking to inform airmen and their wives of their procedure of making service declarations under the Representation of the People Regulations, 1949; and whether he will give the necessary order to ensure that airmen and their wives are notified of the entry of their names in the electors lists.

An Air Ministry Order setting out the procedure for making service declarations will be published tomorrow, together with a leaflet for display on unit notice boards. In addition to this, two Air Ministry pamphlets will be issued in the next few days for the guidance of airmen and their wives in completing these declarations. The responsibility for notifying Service declarants that they will be entered in the electors lists is laid upon electoral registration officers by Regulation 58 of the Representation of the People Regulations, 1949.

Apart from that, will the Under-Secretary take steps to see that these airmen and their wives are also notified by their station commander as to what polling electoral list they are on, because at the present time there is great dissatisfaction as they do not know where they get their votes?

I do not quite understand that question. As I said, under the regulations, if the hon. Member studies them, it is quite clear that it is the electoral registration officer who is under an obligation to notify service declarants.

Croft Airport (Rental)

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what rental the Darlington and District Aero Club is obliged to pay for the use of the Croft Airport; and whether, for the purpose of encouraging the use of this airport by this flying club, he will consider the revision of that rental.

Exercises (Civil Air Services)

53.

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that, owing to Royal Air Force activities, the afternoon air service on Monday, 7th March, from Renfrew to Northolt, was delayed for three hours; and what steps he is taking to prevent such interruption in the future.

A large air defence exercise was held in the Forth-Clyde area on this day and I am advised that, as the weather was such that Instrument Flight Rules were in force, the civil operators did not allow their aircraft to fly through the area until the weather improved. Traffic control arrangements have been made which should avoid delays on this account in future.

Is my hon. Friend aware that recent happenings, this included, are causing grave disquiet amongst passengers using the civil air service from Renfrew to Northolt?

I am not aware of any such disquiet. If the hon. Member's constituents are to be protected in wartime, the Royal Air Force have to have exercises in peace-time.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the actual passengers for this plane had turned up at Renfrew before the people at Renfrew airport were informed that it was unsafe to fly owing to these military operations?

I am not so aware. The decision to fly or not is, of course, a matter for the corporation.