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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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modities—and I have given only some—it assesses what
would be the probable demand for that commodity in war-
time, based, of course, on certain hypotheses as to the
conditions of the war. It has inspected hundreds of factories
all through the country. It has now allocated the capacity
for each of these commodities, and where the capacity does
not fully exist, it has taken, or is taking, steps to supply the
deficiency. It handles all questions of priority as between
one Department and another, and that covers not only
materials, but labour. It has the closest relation with industry
because it has on it representatives of industry, leading men
who are in close touch with it and who act, in fact, as chairmen
of some of its sub-committees. This is an organisation
which was founded as long ago as 1924. It has been gradually
building up this system. There was nothing like it before
1914, before the Great War, and I am bound to say that I
find great difficulty in seeing how it will be possible to improve
upon it to-day for the particular purposes for which it has
been constituted.
" Do not let us be led into accepting the idea of a ministry
of supply as being something innately superior to our present
system. Let us be clear what it is that our present system is
doing and what more we might expect to get from a ministry
of supply if we set one up. My own view—and I, at any
rate, have not looked at this matter from any departmental
point of view; I am not concerned with the prestige of one
Department against another—is that, although in actual war
a ministry of supply would be essential—and, indeed, we
have all the plans ready for such a ministry which could
be put into operation at once in such circumstances—I do
not believe that a ministry of supply in peace-time will be
effective, as the Ministry of Munitions was effective in the
Great War, unless you give that ministry of supply the same
powers as the Ministry of Munitions had. The hon. Gentleman
agrees with me. He specified some of the powers—he did
not specify them all/*
MR. DALTON : " What I said was that, in my submission,
the ministry of supply should have the same powers over
all stages and processes of manufacture from design at one
end to inspection, testing and delivery at the other."