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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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nearer you can get to standardisation the easier it is to engage
in economical quantity production. But I would suggest
to hon. Members that in a transition period, and that is what
we have been passing through, a transition period from old
designs to new designs of an entirely different character,
you can easily carry that principle too far. It would not be
right to put too severe a brake upon the inventive genius
of our people in manufacture and design, if we want to get
the best results, and the modern type of aircraft fitted with
engines such as I have described is not really ready for
standardisation until you have had an opportunity of testing
its performance by the ability of the human body to stand
the tremendous stresses which are involved. Therefore,
while it is undoubtedly the policy of the Air Ministry always
to be reducing the number of types it has in use, and to
standardise their construction as far as possible, yet I say
that during this transition period it was inevitable that the
number of types should be considerably in excess of the
number to which you would hope to get down when you
had had further opportunities of experience.
" Lord Swinton's work during those three years has been
largely one of building foundations, and we are now beginning
to see the fruits of his labours. I have not the slightest doubt
that upon the foundations which he has laid, my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State for Air (Sir Kingsley Wood) will
be able to build a firmly based structure of further additions
and developments. But there are three indispensable pieces of
preparatory work which have been done by Lord Swinton, and
for which we owe him gratitude. First of ail he has consistently
stimulated experimentation so that we might get the best types
of machines that could be devised, and I think it is satisfactory
that the orders that we have been placing recently are orders
for machines which have the highest records for performance
and for maintenance when they are actually in operation.
As regards speed, it is some time ago since a Hurricane
maphine flew from Edinburgh to Northolt in forty-eight
minutes. That was a remarkable demonstration of the speed
of these new machines, and what was perhaps quite as
interesting was that that journey was made in bad visibility
- by night."