14 MARCH 1941, Page 5


Uthe present conditions of paper shortage no daily U paper can publish a really adequate Parliamentary Report. On a day like last Tuesday, for example, when the Air Estimates were introduced, every speech except that of the Air Minister has to be treated very summarily. It is necessary to go to Hansard to discover how grave is the anxiety of many well-informal Members about the position of the Aeronautical Research Committee, and its chairman, Sir Henry Tizard, in particular. About Sir Henry's unique qualifications, both personal and academic, there appeared to be no two opinions. The highest tribute was paid to him. But so sober an authority as Professor A. V., Hill suggested that the committee had been superseded or suppressed by the Minister of Aircraft Produc- tion, and that Sir Henry " found all sorts of difficulties in his way " and resigned—" a decision," said Professor Hill, " with which I agree." Mr. Austin Hopkinson went further. " The break-up of that committee," he said, " was totally unnecessary, and it was due to the interference of a certain person, who shall be nameless, but who made the conditions under which the committee had to work absolutely impossible." Sir Henry lizard, he added, " has found it—and I make no bones about the matter—quite impossible to work at the Ministry of Aircraft Production." To all this Col. Llewellin, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry, replied that Sir Henry Tizard had offered his resignation on grounds of ill-health, but that Lord Beaverbrook had asked him to return. On the rights and wrongs of the question—which concerns the existence of the Aeronautical Research Committee, not merely Sir Henry lizard's personal position—I do not attempt to pronounce, but it can clearly not be left where it is. Efficiency or inefficiency in aeronautical research might decide the issue of the war.