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Auxiliary Force (Strength)

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1950

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33.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what is the present strength of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in officers and airmen.

Seven hundred and thirty-five officers and 6,386 airmen and airwomen.

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman appreciate that these figures are very poor indeed, and that if he is going to man the radar stations and control units something has to be done? Will he consider offering better amenities in the way of buildings and conditions for the Auxiliary Air Force?

I am anxious to do what I can to improve the amenities. I would point out that as regards the 20 auxiliary squadrons, the percentage of strength to establishment is 72. As to the fighter control units, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, we have only been recruiting for these units during the past 18 months, and during the past year we have had an increase of 1,800.