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."