think it is very unlikely that their performance will be
surpassed by the bombers of any other country.
" The second task of my Noble Friend was to devise a
scheme for the expansion and for the training of personnel.
The hon. Member said, quite truly, that there was no difficulty
in the recruiting of the necessary numbers, and I think he
rightly insisted that the important point was the training.
In accordance with the plan of the Air Ministry, there are
now thirteen civil schools devoted to preliminary training,
there are eleven training schools for Service flying, the
capacity for the trade training of men and boys in the Air
Service has been increased sevenfold, and Lord Swinton also
created the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, for which
there are now twenty-two centres in operation. I am not
sure whether hon. Members have already been told, but
there are now over one thousand volunteer pilots who have
qualified to fly solo.
" Then may I say one word about the new war potential ?
That involved the building of new factories and very large
extensions of those which were already engaged in aircraft
construction. It also involved the creation of a shadow factory
system, which for the time being is being fully employed,
while we are building up the force, but which it is intended
later on to keep in reserve for an emergency only, placing
with the shadow factories such orders as are necessary to
maintain the craftsmanship and the experience of those who
will run them. This shadow factory system is giving us an
enormous increase of productive capacity in war and it
covers not only the manufacture of aircraft and engines, but
there are shadow factories also for the production of carburet-
tors, bombs, and air-screws. These factories are laid out
on the very latest model of factory equipment, and they are,
I am told, second to none in the world. I believe I am right
in saying that there is no part of the development of the
air defences of this country which has made a deeper impres-
sion upon foreign visitors than has this shadow factory system.
I should like to say that in the whole of that scheme we have
had invaluable assistance from Lord Weir, and although he
has now retired from active participation in the work of
the Ministry, we shall continue to have value for the