16 FEBRUARY 1945, Page 2

United Air Forces

Lord Trenchard initiated an important debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday on the part that should be played by air forces in the prevention of war. His remarks were particularly valuable not only because they stressed the necessity of having air forces immediately available for international action to prevent aggression, but also because they urged the maintenance of the organised co-operation which already exists. Today there are squadrons of many of the United Nations trained in the same way by the R.A.F., operating in the closest integration .with it and based on the same aerodromes. He proposed that air squadrons of Britain, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France should be similarly organised in com- plete co-operation, so that at any time they could all act together as if they were a single force with common bases. In the same way appro- priate arrangements could be made with the United States and other countries. The pooling of training and resources in this way would not infringe on any national rights, but would in effect provide an international air force. The Lord Chancellor not only accepted Lord Trenchard's view, but said that to a large extent his general conception was already being pursued. But to achieve the end desired it must be consciously pursued by all the Powers concerned, and secure adoption as a matter of policy ; otherwise, at the end of hostilities, the various air forces will be likely to drift apart and lose that cohesion which is of the essence of the plan.