§ Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that there is dissatisfaction at the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham among a number of men formerly attached to the Royal Naval Air Force because their right under the Air Force Constitution Act to have their attachment to the Royal Naval Air Force annulled in order to be given the option of entering the Royal Navy or of being discharged from the Service is not conceded; and will he see that the men are given the right to be discharged from the Service in order that they may come under the Military Service Act with the rights of appeal for exemption which that Act confers?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The question seems to indicate some confusion between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Naval Air Service. Under the Air Force Constitution Act, 1917, men belonging to the Royal Naval Air Service at the date to be fixed by Order in Council could be transferred or attached to the Air Force without their consent, but if any such man gave notice within a specified time that he did not desire to be so transferred or attached, the transfer or attachment was annulled. The men referred to in the question are presumably men of the Royal Naval Air Service whose transfer or attachment to the Royal Air Force has been annulled. This 315W process does not, however, give them any right to release from their previous naval engagements, and where they can be usefully employed under the Admiralty they are being retained.
Mr. T. WILSON
asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry if he is aware that when the Royal Naval Air Service was transferred to the Royal Air Force a number of second-class air mechanics were reduced to third-class air mechanics, and that these men were promised when they were transferred that they would not be reduced; and whether he will inquire into this matter and restore the men to the rank they held when in the Royal Naval Air Service?
§ Major BAIRD
The Air Force gradings of air mechanic, first, second, and third-class, respectively, correspond to the previous Naval Air Service gradings of air mechanic first class, acting air mechanic first class, and air mechanic second class. No loss of pay or relative rank was involved by the new nomenclature, and there has been no breach of undertaking in regard to the conditions of transfer.