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Civilian Staff (Reserve Forces)

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether it is his policy to encourage civilians employed in his Department and at outstations to volunteer for service in the Auxiliary and Reserve Forces or to enrol on the Royal Air Force Supplementary List.

If an emergency occurred, the Air Ministry would lose the services of any of its civilian staff and employees who were members of one of the Reserve or Auxiliary Forces or enrolled on the Supplementary List. Because an emergency would cause an immediate increase in the work-load of Air Ministry establishments it is necessary to ensure that vital work would not be disrupted by a large scale call-up of civilians. The necessary control will be exercised by limiting to 5 per cent. the number of civilians at Headquarters and outstations who may at any time be under a voluntary liability in the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces or on the Supplementary List. Instructions about this arrangement have been issued for Headquarters and are in process of publication for outstations. This 5 per cent. limit does not, however, include volunteers for training as aircrew, or for certain reserves requiring professional qualifications. Within these limits, civilians employed by the Air Ministry will be encouraged to volunteer in the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces and to enrol in the Supplementary List, but as members of the Supplementary List do not carry out annual training to maintain efficiency, preference will be given to volunteers for other classes.