British Air Service ‘Best Corps in the world’

Lord Curzon President of the New Board

Anti-aircraft guns show improvement

After months of bitter criticism, a succession of unfounded charges and insinuations of inferiority, the Royal Flying Corps “came into its own” in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The debate, hostile in origin and purpose, was a complete vindication of both air services, naval and military, in men and machines.

Mr Joynson-Hicks opened the debate with a motion urging the Government to make adequate provisions for a powerful service.

He recognised that great improvements had been made in our defences against air raids, but all through there had been delays in providing guns and searchlights.

Guns had been sent to the eastern counties two months ago fitted to fire only a certain kind of ammunition, and the appropriate ammunition had not been furnished yet. We were still using the same type of air machines with which we had begun the war, and though we had the men we had not the material to enable us to regain command of the air.

Governments Proposals.

Mr Tennant retorted that it was more accurate to say that the Germans had not command of the air, for in the majority of aerial combats we were winners. We had two types of aeroplanes faster than any German type and two types also as fast as the enemy’s fastest.

Many allegations were made which it would be indiscreet to examine and reply to in public, but, generally, there have been great improvements in our air machines and in our anti aircraft guns.

Mr Tenant then announced the proposals for the future control of the air services.

There is to be an Air Board composed of a president, who shall be a Cabinet Minister (Lord Curzon has accepted the office).

One Naval representative who shall either be a member of the Board of Admiralty or shall be present at its meetings when matters connected with the work of the Air Board are under discussion.

An additional Naval representative, who need not always be the same person. One military representative, who shall be a member of the Army Council.

An additional military representative, who need not always be the same person. A member of the independent administrative experience.

And a Parliamentary representative from the other House to that in which the President sits.

The Board is to be an Advisory Board, i.e., its decisions will not be arrived at by voting. It will discuss matters of general policy in relation to the air, and, in particular, combined-operations of the naval and military air services, and make recommendations to the Admiralty and the War Office.

It will make recommendations on the types of machines required, and if either the Admiralty or the War Office decline to set on the recommendations of the Board, the President can refer the question to the War Committee.

It will also have the task of organising and co-ordinating the supply of material, and of preventing competition between the two departments.

It will organise a complete system for the interchange of ideas on air problems between the two Services and such related bodies of Inventions, the Inventions Branch of the Ministry of Munitions, the Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, and the National Physical Laboratory.