Oral Answers to Questions — Aircraft Production.

– in the House of Commons on 21st July 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir Charles Taylor Sir Charles Taylor , Eastbourne

asked the Prime Minister through what channels demands are submitted to the Ministry of Aircraft Production for aircraft for Army Cooperation Command and for the Fleet Air Arm?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

The War Office place before the Air Ministry their requirements, and after discussion the most suitable types of aircraft are chosen. Orders for such aircraft are then given by the Air Ministry to the Ministry' of Aircraft Production. Thereafter there is direct liaison between the War Office, Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production on matters of design, modification and production. Approved requirements for the Fleet Air Arm are made direct to the Ministry of Aircraft Production by the Admiralty.

Photo of Sir Charles Taylor Sir Charles Taylor , Eastbourne

In view of the healthy and natural competition between the three Services, does the Prime Minister feel that it is desirable or right for one interested Ministry, the Air Ministry, to say whether or not these questions shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Aircraft Production?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Oh no, it does not rest with the Air Ministry at all.

Photo of Sir Charles Taylor Sir Charles Taylor , Eastbourne

In the reply which was given it was stated that the aeroplanes for the Army have to go through the Air Ministry. Therefore surely the Air Ministry can hold up these demands?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

No, Sir, they cannot do so at all. If any such action were taken, it would immediately be brought to the notice, successively, of the Defence Committee, or the War Cabinet.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

May I ask whether, unless it is absolutely necessary, it is not better that there should be no alteration in design?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Yes, I entirely agree.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

Has the Prime Minister's attention been called to the statement of Mr. Westbrook that in the case of dive-bombers the Air Ministry, in June, 1940, was not willing to order them, and that they were ordered by the Ministry of Aircraft Production in agreement with the War Office?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Yes, this was an exceptional procedure.

Photo of Sir Charles Taylor Sir Charles Taylor , Eastbourne

asked the Prime Minister what individual or Department decides the priorities for the manufacture or supply of the various types of aircraft to be used by the Royal Air Force, Army Co-operation Command and the Fleet Air Arm?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

The Minister of Defence and the Defence Committee, advised as necessary by the Chiefs of Staff, approve and from time to time review the aircraft programme, which lays down the number of aircraft of various types to be manfactured.

Photo of Sir Kenneth Pickthorn Sir Kenneth Pickthorn , Cambridge University

Since what date has there been an agreed plan between the three Service Ministers in this matter?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I know only what I have read out on this point. I do not know of any disagreement of a serious character, other than that which naturally arises when doubtful matters have to be discussed.