asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is satisfied that the air training scheme promoted by the Association of British Aero Clubs and Centres whereby selected Air Training Corps cadets are granted flying scholarships and trained by civil flying clubs has been instrumental in helping Royal Air Force recruitment; how many such cadets have qualified for a pilot's licence; and to what extent encouragement is proposed for the training of larger numbers.
My right hon. and learned Friend considers that the Air Ministry scheme for the training of selected Air Training Corps cadets at civil flying clubs is a great encouragement to these cadets to enter the Royal Air Force as aircrew and, as he stated in reply to the hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Mr. Heald) on 18th April, the number of scholarships to be awarded this year is being increased to 300. One hundred and thirty-seven cadets have so far successfully completed their training and have qualified for a private pilot's licence.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the Association stated that the training of 750 cadets a year would be well within the immediate capacity of the clubs, and would he, in particular, give as much practical encouragement as he possibly can to the Leicester Aero Club, which is anxious to play its part in this important work?
I understand that the Leicester Aero Club have no airfield at the moment.
On a point of order. Would you ask the Minister if he will speak into the microphone. Sir, when answering questions put from back benches, so that we may all be able to hear?
Will my hon. Friend do what he can to assist the Leicester Aero Club to obtain a suitable airfield, so that they may be able to carry out the training which they are anxious to carry out?