§ 6. Mr. Callaghan
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he is aware of the dissatisfaction among R.A.F. electricians because of the delay in their demobilisation programme, in view of the fact that certain trades to which remustering took place are now ahead of electricians; what is the average length of postponement of release; and how soon he expects this trade to be level with the general releases.
§ Mr. Strachey:
It is quite true that whereas at the beginning of the release programme last June we had a surplus of electricians, and actually remustered some of them to help, for instance, the clerks, we now have a deficiency, and that they are this month, three groups behind—though this only means from one to two months delay in release. This is an instance of the successive speed-ups of release having upset our re-training programme. I cannot yet give a date when we expect to get them level with the general rate again, but we are now hard at work training electricians.
§ 8. Mr. Carson
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the release rate in the accounts branch of the R.A.F. is still behind the normal rate; and, if so, how many groups behind.16W
§ Mr. Strachey:
Airmen in the accounting trades are seven groups behind the general level of release this month. This will be reduced to five groups in June and to four groups in July. Officers in the accounts branch are now six groups behind and I am afraid that this will increase to nine groups next month. For the reasons which I have previously given to the House, the speed up in the general rate of release from group 28 to group 37 as of 30th June next has hit the accountant trades particularly hard. We must keep the accountant trades up to strength or the whole release programme will be thrown into confusion. But we are actively training both officers and airmen, re-mustering, commissioning airmen and generally doing everything we can to help this unlucky trade. I do not want to hold out expectations but we should be over the worst by the autumn.