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They had more men and more planes in 1950 when the total bill was only £223 million. Even if one allows for the increased pay of a voluntary service—one of the omissions or miscalculations which the Prime Minister made in 1957—and if we allow for the increasing cost of equipment, it is an extremely sorry story.
On any count, the political heads of the Air Force have done a very bad job. The incompetence of successive Ministers, their indecision, their wrong priorities and, particularly, their muddle in the procurement of aircraft, mean that the highly efficient personnel of the Air Force have been prevented from making the maximum contribution which otherwise they could have made to the defence of the nation.