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work which he has done in the future development of the
" I would like to say a word or two about mass production.
It was not mentioned by the hon. Member, but it often is
mentioned, and, as far as I know, the words have never yet
been accurately defined. I myself I think would understand
the term * mass production * as the production by labour-
saving machinery of very large numbers of identical articles.
The Ford Company have recently completed the four
millionth V.8 engine under the sort of conditions under
which mass production is carried on effectively, but I am
told that in the ordinary motor car engine, such as the one
that I have just mentioned, there are somewhere about 1700
parts. I do not think it is realised that in the case of a modern
bomber there are n,ooo parts in the engine alone, and that,
apart from that, in the planes there are upwards of 70,000
separate parts for which between 6000 and 8000 separate
drawings are required. That is a very different proposition
from the mass production of a motor car, and, moreover,
in the design of an aeroplane there is so much variation of
line, due to the various curves and tapers of the machine
and so on, that there is necessarily extremely little uniformity
among those parts, and the actual numbers of any one part
are therefore comparatively small.
" It will be seen from what I have said, therefore, that
although we have in fact placed very large orders with
individual firms or shadow factories, running up to such
numbers as 700, 800, or 900 machines, when you come to the
actual number of parts which can be duplicated, they are
not comparable with the numbers that we commonly associate
with the term * mass production/ It is, of course, possible
to apply special methods to reduce time and labour when
you have large orders for aeroplanes—and the larger the
order the more nearly you approach mass production methods
—but I think the House will appreciate that when you are
dealing with a complex, delicate mechanism like that of these
modern aircraft, the technique must necessarily be very
different from that which is employed when you are turning
out your grosses of screws or nuts or even of cardboard boxes.
" The hon. Member has also made criticism of the adminis-