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Aircrew

Volume 609: debated on Wednesday 15 July 1959

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30.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps his Department is taking to ensure that potential recruits for the Royal Air Force are made fully aware that Service opportunities for flying and a full career for pilots are likely to continue for many years to come, notwithstanding current changes in defence policy.

Our continuing need for aircrew and the full and varied career which the Royal Force can offer are emphasised in our recruiting literature, in advertisements in the national Press, and by officers visiting schools and universities. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for this opportunity to emphasise once more that we shall need aircrew of the highest quality for as far ahead as we can foresee.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that there is a widespread impression among young people who are potential recruits for the Royal Air Force that the airman of the future will be some sort of automatic troglodyte pressing buttons in a subterranean cave? Is it not necessary to give the maximum publicity to the fact that the traditional qualities of pilotship, courage and daring are still required, and will be required for many years to come?

Certainly a year ago there was such an impression, but I believe that statements made recently by my right hon. Friends and myself have done a great deal to put this right.