2 JUNE 1939, Page 6


THERE is better news of the progress of French aeroplane production. It is still not comparable with our own— the highest estimate I have heard is 25o machines a month— but the industry seems now to have reached the stage at which early planning and preparation is beginning to bear fruit, and a rapid expansion is in prospect. Just a week after the British Air Force had shown its paces to M.P.s and others at Northolt the French Air Minister, M. Guy La Chambre, was taking deputies and journalists over a new assembly- plant near Nantes which is now producing too machines a month—more, so it is stated, than the whole French aero- plane industry could produce last January. This factory has a capacity for almost double its present production, and others, equally modern, are already at work in the north, while seven more will begin producing immediately ; though there may be some delay so long as the output of engines continues to lag a little behind that of frames. One satis- factory feature is that the productivity of the individual workman has substantially increased in many sections of the armaments industry ; Renault's, for example, reports an im- provement of from 121 to 14 per cent.

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