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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

no   _________________._____________        .
view of parity than Mr. Baldwin took in the phrase that he
used of c air power and air strength/ Although I am aware
that first line strength has on many occasions been taken as a
yardstick of parity, I am bound to say that the more I examine
into the conditions the more I am forced inevitably to the
conclusion that first line strength is only one of a number of
factors which go to make up the air power and air strength
of which Lord Baldwin spoke. Apart from the difficulties of
deciding what machines or what squadrons you should
include in the first line, there are also to be considered the
reserves of aircraft, the reserves of bombs and equipment,
the war potential which could be used in aircraft or bombs, the
access to raw materials which will be required in their manu-
facture ; and also I do not think we can leave out the value
of an anti-aircraft defence, including any special devices
which may have been developed by one country or another.
*e Then, of course, we must take account of personnel and
the moral of the force. I believe Napoleon once said that in
war the moral was to the physical as three to one. We have
to take into account the training of air pilots and their racial
temperament and characteristics. And of course we must
also include the quality of the aircraft, as measured by their
speed, their range and the nature of their equipment. I do
not think we can stop there. Even in the case of capital ships
parity of tonnage and parity of gun power do not represent
any complete measure of equality, but in the case of aircraft we
cannot set one aeroplane against another as you can set one
capital ship against another. In examining the problems of
war the Committee of Imperial Defence must take into
account all the elements that come into play, of which air
power, though it is of the first importance, is after all only
one, and -one which cannot be considered in isolation. I
think, therefore, that to attempt to measure air power and air
strength simply by first line strength is a delusion and a snare,
that we have to look at our Defence problems as a whole from
a wider aspect. We must take account of the aggregate and
effectiveness of our resources, and in the various programmes
which we have put forward I can tell the House that we are
satisfied that we are making the best and most effective use
of these resources/'