6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 12

SIR,—Your leading article deserved its prominence. My engineering connexion brings

me into fairly wide general contact with the industry, and I am shocked at the waste of time and capacity occurring daily for various reasons, some unavoidable, others not so. Competitive Ministries play their part along with ridiculously expensive designing, changes in design (necessary, of course, but not necessarily long- winded ; I have.known a contract delayed for over three months await- ing a decision on the substitution of an ordinary gramophone needle, already made in millions, for the designed needle, which differed only minutely, but sufficient to present new manufacturing phases both in labour and material), discontinuity of orders, shortage of cutting-tools, &c. These are some of the things a really authoritative Production Board could do something about.

But, above all, it should wipe out the reproach of firms wanting suitable work and being unable to obtain it. It is admittedly difficult to get concerted effort from the smaller firms on contracts shared amongst them. They are perhaps sometimes not so businesslike as they should be, which makes them trying to their colleagpes. They are often slack in their ideas of accurate work. They occasionally lack an adventurous spirit to tackle new jobs. Transport between them is not easy. Labour shortage is a really serious point.

But; of course, nothing is easy in these days. Mr. Churchill has never included rose-leaves in his promises. All difficulties must be faced squarely and overcome by appropriate measures. If concentra- tion is the secret of the successful individual, it is equally true that co-ordination is inseparable from any successful organisation of whatever kind. The smaller firms represent a very real reservoir of capacity, but only co-ordination and suitable designing will bring them to effective action. This in itself, to say nothing of the far wider field outside, would be a sound job of work for a properly constituted Production Board managed by technical men and given reasonable authority to get things done.—Yours faithfully,