Ministerial Changes.

Part of War Situation. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1942.

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Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

I mean in addition to the torpedo carrying aircraft from the Air Force. How is it that we had only these four old destroyers and one old leader whose attack upon these German ships was worthy of the highest tradition of the service to which they belong? Where were our mine-layers and submarines? It is disturbing. Nothing which has happened during this war has shaken the British people quite so much as the passage of those ships up the Channel. If there was ever a time when constructive criticism was necessary that time is now, but criticism is none the less constructive when it is based upon and reinforced by the consideration of past mistakes.

I am going to say something now which I know my hon. and gallant Friend will not like, but I believe it to be necessary, and I am sure he will acquit me of any desire to make mischief. Before it is too late, I beg of the Government to do what the war has shown to be so imperatively necessary, and that is, to place under naval control all the aircraft which take Hart in naval operations and to place under military control all the aircraft which take part in military operations. We have recently given the Royal Air Force an army of their own but we have not given the Army a Royal Air Force of their own.