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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

and put into operation a system under which the war potential
of the country could be increased to an extent which had
not hitherto been dreamt of. To do that he necessarily had
to enlist the services of firms who were entirely without
previous experience of the work they were called upon to do.
That is a very brief summary of the task laid upon my Noble
Friend. I cannot help feeling that it must be extremely difficult
for anyone who has not himself had experience of manufac-
turing on a large scale or of suddenly expanding some
organisation from very small proportions to very large ones
—it must be difficult, I say, for anyone who has not had
that experience to realise the tremendous stress and strain
which such a task involved upon those who are concerned
with it.
" I would like the House to recollect, too, that the situation
was enormously complicated by the fact that the conditions
in which it was carried out were entirely exceptional. It was
not like some period of expansion, let us say, in navies when
all that is required is to repeat many times, no doubt with
some developments, designs already accepted, tried out and
tested in actual service. Those three years of which I speak,
during which the expansion of the Air Force has had to
take place, coincided with one of those forward leaps which
periodically take place in applied science, and in this particular
case the features of this advance took three forms. The
development of the all-metal monoplane, the design of new
engines of unprecedented efficiency and the invention of
the variable pitch air-screw. The combination of those three
new features in aircraft construction not only completely
altered the design, but it necessarily altered the strategy which
had to be employed in the use of these newly developed
machines.
" During those three years the design of aeroplanes has
been changing all the time like a kaleidoscope. We have
heard again from the hon. Gentleman opposite of the delays
that have been caused by changes in design and the necessity
for a reduction in the types of machines to a comparatively
small number of standardised patterns. I agree that it is
desirable to reduce the number of types and to standardise
them as far as possible as a general principle, because the