Sir A. Sinclair replied - The scheme of war-time promotion for officers in the R.A.F. can be briefly described as follows:
Officers of the General Duties Branch (aircrews) are commissioned in the rank of pilot officer. After six months' service in that rank they are granted time-promotion to flying officer and after a further 18 months time-promotion to flight lieutenant, subject in each case to satisfactory service. For other officers there is time-promotion to the rank of flying officer after six months' satisfactory service in the rank of pilot officer, except in the Medical and Dental Branches where officers are entered as flying officers and are granted time-promotion to flight lieutenant after one year's satisfactory service.
Promotions to ranks outside the scope of time-promotions are made within the war establishment on the recommendations of Central Promotion Boards held at the Air Ministry.
Acting rank is granted to officers employed in posts graded in a rank above their existing rank pending the availability of an officer of the appropriate substantive or temporary rank, and is tenable only so long as officer is filling such a post. Acting ranks up to wing commander may be granted by commands; the acting rank of group captain and above is granted by the Air Ministry.
Officers who obtain an acting rank two or more steps above their basic rank and hold it for certain periods are given war substantive rank one rank below the acting rank and they cannot drop below this in war if they lose their acting rank.
Promotion Boards for temporary rank are held half-yearly and the claims of officers, whether holding acting rank or not, who have not been selected by one Board are considered by subsequent Boards.
As for the last part of the Question, the claims to promotion to temporary rank of R.A.F.V.R. officers with previous service are fully considered along with those of other officers. Promotions are of course limited to vacancies.