§ 3. Mr. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he is taking to overcome the shortage of trained aircrew in the Royal Air Force.
§ Mr. J. Amery
We are not at present short of trained aircrew. But we could face a serious shortage within a few years if recruiting does not improve. We have accordingly introduced more attractive terms for direct entry officers. We have extended publicity. We are improving our school liaison arrangements and providing more opportunities for headmasters and careers masters to visit Royal Air Force units. We are also trying to make our selection methods better and to cut down training wastage. There has been some improvement in recruiting in recent months, but it is still too early to say whether this will be maintained.
§ Mr. Rankin
Is it not the case that enrolments in the initial training schools are declining? Are they declining because there is a widespread feeling that the trainees are getting their air experience too late? Would the right hon. Gentleman look into that aspect of the problem?
§ Mr. Mulley
Can the Secretary of State say whether he has anxieties about reaching the target of the Royal Air Force by 1st January, 1963, in view of what he has just said?