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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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is now being made more rapidly every day in all directions*
It is now nearly three years since we started on a very large
programme for rebuilding and modernizing the Fleet. To
give you some idea of the extent of this programme I may tell
you that during the 12 months ending on the 3ist of next
March some sixty new ships, with a tonnage of about 130,000
tons, will have been added to the Navy. And for the ensuing
twelve months the addition will be even larger—namely,
about seventy-five ships of 150,000 tons.
" The Royal Air Force is also going ahead at an equally
remarkable rate. Large factory extensions have been made
and huge new factories have been or are being erected in
different parts of the country. You can see for yourselves
what has been done here in the Austin factory and the immense
new works being erected in record time under the direction of
Lord Nuffield. To show you that the results of all this activity
are no longer reserved for the future you may like to know
that in the last few months we have actually doubled the rate
of aircraft production.
" On the recruiting side also good progress is being made,
and whereas in 1937, between April and the end of the year,
we obtained 9000 new entrants into the R.A.F., this year the
corresponding number is 25,000,
" In regard to the Army, I propose only to say a word
about the part of our programme which is most frequently
referred to by critics—I mean our anti-aircraft defences.
Everyone knows that last September certain deficiencies were
disclosed in these defences. We were well aware that those
deficiencies existed, for we were engaged on a programme
which was only planned for completion at a considerably later
date. But the programme has now been accelerated and the
deficiencies which were apparent last September have largely
been removed.
"It would not be in the public interest to give actual
figures, but I may tell you that a few days ago I was examining
the position as it is to-day and as it will be in the course of the
next few months, and you may take it that it is very greatly
improved not only as regards the increase in guns and acces-
sories, but ^IsQ in the organization for directing snd manning
them,