Front Cover
 Back Cover

Title: British speeches of the day
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076217/00014
 Material Information
Title: British speeches of the day
Physical Description: 5 v. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Information Services
Publisher: British Information Services,
British Information Services
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: April 1944
Frequency: monthly
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1945-   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- Periodicals -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Mar. 1943.
Dates or Sequential Designation: -v. 5, no. 5 (June 1947).
General Note: At head of title: British Information Services, an agency of the British government.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 1 (Feb. 1946); title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076217
Volume ID: VID00014
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01412079
lccn - 45006482

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Back Cover
        Page 81
Full Text




SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, Secretary qf State for Air, February 29, 1944.
The War in the Air.
A. V. ALEXANDER, First Lord of the # mirty,;March-7, 1944.
The War at Sea.
SIR JAMES GRIGG, Secretary of State r ar, March 2, 1944.
The War on Land. \
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime MinisA t h294 "
War Overseas: Reconstruction at Hot .
HERBERT MORRISON, Home SecretarJ n-J 4 F Home Security,
March 3, 1944.
London's New Blitz.
OLIVER LYTTLETON, Minister of Production, March 9, 1944.
Planning Production.
LORD HALIFAX, British Ambassador to the United States, March 14, 1944.
What We Have in Common.
LORD MUNSTER, Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma,
February 29, 1944.
Britain's Export Trade.
LORD SELBORNE, Minister of Economic Warfare, March 15, 1944.
Europe's Suffering and the Blockade.
H. U. WILLINK, Minister of Health, March 15, 1944.
The Government's Housing Program.
H. U. WILLINK, Minister of Health, March 16, 1944.
The National Health Service.
Vol. II, No. 4 April 1944

NEW YORK 20 . . 30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA . . Circle 6-5100
WASHINGTON, D.C. 5 . 1336 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W. Executive 8525
-wKAtrO I 360 NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE Andover 1733
s 0 260 CALIFORNIA STREET . . Sutter 6634

G7 %
V. ,

Secretary of State for Air
House of Commons, February 29, 1944

The discussion of the Estimates for the three Service Departments will proceed
this year in the knowledge that we are ir all probability approaching the climax
of the war-a period which will demand from every one of us, and from all the
people of this country, the greatest possible concentration of effort of which we
are capable. So we Service Ministers come to the House to ask for supplies, and for
a continuance of that support from Parliament without which we can do nothing,
and which has been generously vouchsafed to us in the most dangerous crises of the
war. Nominally, we ask for money. In practice, as, of course, the House knows,
no vote of money will increase the manpower and womanpower at the country's
disposal, and it is my principal task today to account for the very large resources
of manpower which air operations have required during the last year.

The Exploits of Our Comrades-in-Arms
Parliament has staked heavily on the Royal Air Force during this war. In
peace, before rearmament started, the vote for air supplies was about 17,000,000
a year: that is, about half the then Army Vote, and little more than a third of the
Vote for the Navy. Today the manpower allotted to the Ministry of Aircraft
Production is larger than the whole labor force of the Ministry of Supply, which,
in its turn, is greater than the manpower allotted for shipbuilding, both for the
Navy and for the Merchant Service. Of the resources allotted to the air war the
largest share is given to Bomber Command. Hon. Members will, therefore,
expect me, before I sit down, to give the House some account of the bomber
offensive, our cardinal effort during the past year. I do not wish to keep the
House too long and I must necessarily omit many fields in which I should have
wished to bring to the notice of the House, brave deeds and hard work well done.
In particular, I wish time allowed me to speak of the exploits of our comrades-in-
arms, the Polish, Czech, French, Belgian, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek and Yugoslav
squadrons. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia
-our partners in vast overseas training organizations-have squadrons fighting
alongside our own, as do the squadrons of the Indian Air Force in the Far Eastern
theater. In addition, many fine Dominion crews, and crews from the Indian and
Colonial Empire, are fighting in Royal Air Force squadrons.
Now there are those who feel that we are rather remiss, when, in mentioning
to Parliament some operations or series of operations, as having been carried out
by the Royal Air Force, we do not specifically mention the Allied and Dominion
squadrons and crews which have been engaged. I only wish it were practicable
to make these specific acknowledgements on every occasion; but I am sure that the
House bears in mind these Allied, Dominion, Indian and Colonial squadrons and
crews in the course of our discussions of the war in the air. They have won great
renown. They have earned the lasting respect of their British comrades-in-arms
and their valiant deeds will always be remembered with thankful hearts by the
British people. Inadequate also will be the mention I shall make of the exploits
of our American Allies, whose arms have in these last weeks won such resounding
success in two hemispheres. I would wish also to speak, if time allowed, of the
comradeship and cooperation which exists between the British and the United States
Air Forces, but hon. Members will wish, as I must select and compress my material,


British Speeches of the Day

that I should, as far as possible, confine myself to the affairs of the Service for
which I have the honor to be answerable to Parliament.
Territorial Demands
I will begin by speaking of the administrative machine by which our operations
are sustained, and confine myself to two or three particular matters which seem to
deserve special mention at the present time. The first is our building program.
There is nothing that brings home more closely that this island is a front line base
of operations than the fact that, everywhere you go, you find one of our airfields.
It has not been a pleasant thing for the people of this country to have their land
turned into an air base. We have had to dispossess people of their land, their
houses, and their crops, often with little notice and with no reprieve. I well
understand the feelings of the farmers, who have been at pains for many years to
keep their land in good heart, and have ploughed and sown crops to feed us, only
to fnd that their fields are to be taken from them and covered with concrete and
buildings; while others have lost their homes, in which they have spent their lives
and brought up their children and in which their families may have lived, as owners
or tenants, for generations. Cheerfully as these sacrifices have been borne, it has
been a distasteful task to impose them, and I am glad to say that we have almost
reached the end of our territorial demands.
Four and a half years ago, we started the most gigantic civil engineering and
building program ever undertaken in this country. This program is now nearing
completion, and it is right that I should mention to the House those which have
contributed to it-the staffs of the Air Ministry, under Air Chief Marshal Courtney
and Mr. Holloway, the Director-General of Works, who planned and directed it,
and the employers and workmen who carried it out. We hear much about Ger-
many's Todt Organization, but let me say a word for the Air Ministry Works
Organization. Since the war began, working mainly through building and civil
engineering contractors, it has erected 1,000,000 buildings and laid down concrete
tracks equivalent to a 30-foot road running from here to Pekin. Of course, given
enough time and enough labor and materials, any building program can be carried
out, but, as the House well knows, none of these commodities has been in ample
supply. It is planning, ingenuity, and, above all, standardization, wherever stand-
ardization was in any way possible, that has carried the program through.
Air Training
We have been able to fit so many bases, for the American Air Forces as well as
our own, into this small island because so much of our training has been carried
on outside it, in the Dominions and in the United States. Let me again, as on
previous occasions, pay my acknowledgements to the Canadian Government for
their imaginative and vigorous administration of the joint air training plan. Our
problem of providing training facilities to relieve the shortage of crews from
which we suffered at the beginning of the war, and to match our expanding Air
Force, would never have been solved without that help.
At the beginning of our training expansion, we were short of airfields, training
aircraft, and, most important of all, we were short of experienced instructors. The
best instructors had to be planted out in the new schools all over the Empire.
New men had to be trained and this heavy dilution of training experience was
inevitably accompanied by an increase in the rate of accidents. Besides the pressure
of war and the dilution of instructors, we had to contend with a great increase in
night flying and with the tendency of aircraft to become heavier, faster and more
complex in their equipment. Nevertheless, as the training organization became
consolidated on its new and wider foundations, we surmounted these difficulties

The War in the Air

and reversed the upward trend of the accident rate. The rate for the whole Royal
Air Force at home-most remarkably, the accident rate at night-has steadily fallen
in the last two years. It was 30 per cent lower in 1943 than it was in 1942, and
now it is lower than it has been at any time during the war.
Much credit for the fall in the accident rate is due to the Accidents Inspectorate
and to the staffs who have analyzed the causes and trend of accidents so that' reme-
dies in the aircraft or in training methods can be applied. For training is the secret
of air safety, and Air Marshal Garrod, the first Air Member for Training, and his
successor, Air Marshal Drummond, and their training staffs, and the two Training
Commands of the Royal Air Force at home, and those in the Dominions, may well
feel proud of their work. In the Air Ministry, we are all training conscious, some
might say training thad. We have developed every means of instruction-synthetic
aids, pamphlets, and even games.
New Weapons
As new aircraft, new weapons and new gadgets are introduced, we have to keep
pace with them. If the Minister of Aircraft Production presents us with, say, a
new automatic homing device, he gives us at the same time a number of training
problems to solve. It will, in the end, save lives and aircraft, but, before we
introduce it, pamphlets must be issued to all parts of the world on how to work
it, service it, and repair it. We must train instructors, issue warnings on how not
to misuse it and fit all this complicated instruction into a curriculum through
which thousands of pupils are passing, without disturbing the steady flow through
the machine. But though the statistics show that the accident rate is declining,
we are not satisfied. We do not forget that every accident represents a lamentable
waste, certainly of labor and materials and perhaps of precious life and skill. More-
over, as our aircraft become larger more lives are lost every time an accident occurs.
It is our duty to see that each member of a crew, whose lives may depend on any
one of their members, is as skilled, as practised, and as swift in thought and action
as training can make him.
Health and Rehabilitation
Another source of wastage which has been reduced is sickness. Though more
of our units are serving overseas, often in unhealthy areas and under active war
conditions, we have had, during the last twelve months, fewer sick than at any
other time since the outbreak of the war. That certainly means much in avoidance
of pain and suffering; but it also means the addition of several thousands of men
and women to our resources. The Royal Air Force owes a great debt to the medical
profession, both to those members of it whose career lies in the Royal Air Force
Medical Branch, and to the many doctors and surgeons who have joined us since
the war started. Remarkable strides have been made in the rehabilitation of men
suffering from burns, severe wounds and accidents. Our rehabilitation centers
work on the principle that it is not enough that a broken limb or a torn ligament
or burnt fingers should be mended, if the patient is, nevertheless, to limp or lose
part of his skill for the rest of his days. Hon. Members know the tragedy of
industrial cases, the fear that haunts the patient that he will never get back to full
work again, and they will be glad to know that over 80 per cent of the patients
in our centers have been able to get back to full duties, in a shorter time than a
few years ago we should have believed possible. So, under the wise and vigorous
leadership of Air Marshal Sir Harold Whittingham, the Director-General of
Medical Services, and with the unsparing and devoted help of the Royal Air Force
Nursing Service, our doctors and our dentists, who also have found scope in our
midst for original ideas and practices, contrive not only to heal, but also to prevent
sickness and thus to strengthen the Royal Air Force for battle.

British Speeches of the Day

Air Transport
It is some time since I brought to the attention of the House the splendid work
performed by our Medical Services, and I would now revert to a subject, on which
I made the first announcement last year, and that is, the creation and the work of
Transport Command. This Command has grown rapidly, but not more rapidly
than the demand for its services. It is being expanded to meet the future require-
ments of the Royal Air Force in this theater of war; to meet the ever-increasing
requirements of the Mediterranean, and the still more rapidly increasing require-
ments of the South-Eastern Asia Command; and, of course, it still remains responsi-
ble for the delivery of aircraft across the North and South Atlantic. Flying largely
on established routes, its aircraft are available at any time to be thrown into the
battle-carrying supplies to the battle front and moving wounded to the rear.
They were in the forefront of the expedition to Italy, they landed under fire on the
beaches at Salerno; more recently in Burma, working with the United States Army
Transport Command, they fed and supported the Seventh Indian Division and so
had their share in the Army's great victory in Arakan; with the long range delivery
of aircraft and of a wide range of engines and spares for our squadrons--these are
the tasks of Transport Command. Already the Command has earned the status
which it enjoys, of a fully operational Command of the Royal Air Force, and it
will have a big part to play in future operations.
In wartime all air transport is war transport; we have none to spare for purely
peaceful purposes; but the burden of air transportation is shared with Transport
Command by the British Overseas Airways Corporation. The experience, organiza-
tion and resources of each are pooled, and each is allotted the task it can best per-
form. When there is a special war job to be done, or special services to be run to
forward areas, Transport Command is ready for them. The British Overseas Air-
ways Corporation sticks to the established routes, its operations and services being
dovetailed ino those of Transport Command. The fleet of the British Overseas
Airways Corporation is gradually being modernized and the number of types of
which it is composed has been reduced from twenty-three to seventeen in the past
year. The route mileage of the British Overseas Airways Corporation increased by
over 20 per cent in the last year, and, in fact, was, in 1943, four times as great as
the combined route mileage of Imperial Airways and British Airways :n 1938.
That does not look like putting civil aviation into cold storage! Their routes
include the North Atlantic Service, on which they have flown regularly during the
whole of three winters, services to Stockholm, to Lisbon, down the West Coast of
Africa, to Cairo and on to Turkey in the North and India in the South, besides
the important route from Durban up the East Coast of Africa to Cairo, and so on
by Bagdad and Basra to Karachi. So the horizons of the British Overseas Airways
Corporation are in no respect narrowed by the coexistence of Transport Command
but are, on the contrary, expanding, and its resources are growing.

Sea Transport
Meanwhile we mainly depend, and we still, for many years to come, shall
depend on sea transport for the carriage of our food, our raw materials, and our
supplies to every theater of war. Therefore, the House will expect me to refer to
the achievements of Coastal Command and to our close working partnership with
the Royal Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic. Hon. Members will have noticed
from the accounts of operations against U-boats that the Battle of the Atlantic is
not a series of single combats between the U-boat and the aircraft or the warship,
but is made up of prolonged engagements over thousands of miles of sea, in which
the work of the surface forces is at every stage integrated with the work of aircraft.
The aircraft and the escort vessel are nicely complementary; the escort vessel carriess

The War in the Air

a bigger punch, and can track down a U-boat, once detected, even though sub-
merged, but the range of vision of the escort vessel is limited; the aircraft is less
certain of its kill but has, of course, an immensely greater range of vision and a
better chance of surprising the enemy. A convoy may be assailed along the whole
route across the ocean, first by U-boats and then by bombers and, at every stage,
the work of the air and escort vessels on the surface is interlocked. Never has there
been a happier period of relations between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force
than in the past year. Like the harmony which prevails between land and air forces,
the combination of air and naval power is the fruit, not of radical changes of
organization or of direction from above, but of the steady efforts of Commanders
and Staff Officers of the two Services engaged in the pursuit of a common enemy.

Depth Charges from the Air
The war against the submarine is especially a war of wits. The enemy has
sprung surprises on us-but we have sprung still more surprises on him. We hope
to spring more yet. The many units of Coastal Command, in which American
squadrons are now serving alongside our own, stretching from Iceland to Gibraltar
and the Azores, sweeping the whole of the Atlantic, have a long task of vigilance
and of danger too. Most of their work-perhaps the most trying part-is taken
up with long and uneventful sweeps over barren seas, but there are many occasions
when they have to meet formidable opposition. They fly in low, these coastal
crews, to drop their depth charges. The Germans have increased the numbers of
anti-aircraft guns carried by their U-boats in order to force up the coastal crews to
heights at which the accuracy of their bombing would fall off. But the crews have
roundly declared that they will not be forced up-and they have not been forced
up. I would recall the action, for which the Victoria Cross was awarded to Flying
Officer Trigg, when he pressed home his attack with absolute disregard of the
heavy anti-aircraft armament with which U-boats are now armed, though he knew
that his aircraft was already hit and in flames and that his only course of safety
lay in breaking off the engagement. Admiral Doenitz, the Commander-in-Chief
of the German Navy, is reported to have said-though I cannot for the life of me
understand how an officer who I suppose to be competent can have made such a
remark-that an aeroplane could no more attack a submarine than a crow a mole.
The mole is turning himself into a porcupine, but he still cannot escape Coastal
Command's talons.

Germany's Coastal Traffic
In operating against surface shipping, the Command has had a year of extended
activity and considerable success. We have been giving careful attention to Ger-
many's coastal traffic, particularly the route from the iron mines of Norway to the
Rhine ports, and together the Beaufighters of Coastal Command, with their great
variety of armament, and the sea-mining aircraft of Bomber Command have sunk
quite a proportion of this traffic. I do not believe all I read about the prospects
of the Germans leaving Norway, but the dangers of the sea passage have certainly
diminished its usefulness to them.
The House may be sure that we are doing all we can to see that the experience
gained in Coastal Command is used in that other theater of air and sea warfare, the
Far East. We look forward to the day when victory in Europe will release more
of our air forces to fight the Japanese. We foresee that the great expanses of the
Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean will give play to a broader sweep of air power
than the congested skies of Europe. Coastal Command navigational skill, and prac-
tice in naval liaison, will be very much in demand, and must be diffused as widely
as possible.

British Speeches of the Day

Pacific and Mediterranean Operations
Meanwhile, we have been building up our forces in the Far Eastern theater and
the Japanese have lost the air superiority they enjoyed in 1942. A notable event
was the arrival of Spitfires in this theater. The squadrons we sent to Australia
acquitted themselves well in attacks which the Japanese made on Port Darwin and
other towns, and more recently in Burma, Spitfires appeared where the Japanese
had been expecting Hurricanes, and in their first two encounters these Spitfires
destroyed twenty-one of the enemy for the loss of only three of their own. As fast
as we can send more, we shall send more Spitfires. One thing is certain; we shall
not forget that in our hour of need Australia sent her Forces across the world to
help us, and we shall not relax our efforts until our common enemies are utterly
In the Mediterranean, our air forces have played a vital part in the great events
of the past year. The surrender in Tunis of an enemy army of 250,000 men was
followed by great amphibious operations, each successfully covered by air power.
They knocked Italy out of the wag and have drawn down to the Italian fronts large
enemy forces badly needed elsewhere. As the Prime Minister said last week, no
less than seven extra divisions have been brought down for a determined attempt
to destroy our bridgehead.
Besides these forces, we are fighting in that theater another enemy, the weather.
Air Marshal Slessor, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, under General Eaker, of the
Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean, remarks in a recent report that the present
phase of the campaign reminds him of his experience in Waziristan, except that
the weather is like a bad English February. As the pilots put it, the clouds are
stuffed with mountains. The airmen searching the valleys and ravines for the
enemy positions, so far from seeing their target, cannot even see which is valley
and which is mountainside. Let us not expect the impossible of them. The Army
do not; I am told that the understanding between the air and ground forces is
excellent. The good weather should come soon, and then we shall see whether
our air superiority will not do again what it did in 1943.

General Arnold's Report
It is often interesting, if sometimes disconcerting, to see ourselves as others see
us, and the House will be interested to know how the different methods employed
by the enemy and the Royal Air Force in land campaigns have struck so discerning
and experienced an observer as General Arnold, the Commanding General of the
U. S. Army Air Force.
Writing in his recent formal report to the Secretary of War of the United States
of the early Libyan campaigns, he says that the enemy kept his air forces under the
direct command of the ground forces.
"Local Army commanders," he says, "wasted air power in penny packets to
protect their own sectors or to help advance small detachments. The Royal Air
Force, employed in concentrated mass as a true air force should be, completely
destroyed some 1,100 Italian planes." He adds, "Many of our present ideas about
the Tactical Air Force were evolved in the heat of these desert campaigns. There
is no doubt that experience and new conditions modify many of our notions, but
the present concept of the Tactical Air Force can be regarded as tested and proved
in North Africa, Italy and New Guinea."
The Mediterranean campaign has been the chief testing ground for our methods
of combining air apd surface forces in one great instrument of war. It does not
matter whether this instrument is in the hands of a soldier or an airman or a sailor.

The War in the Air

In this theater, here at home, the supreme commander will be a soldier, General
Eisenhower, but his deputy is Air Chief Marshal Tedder, an airman. What matters
is that the air forces should be commanded by an airman and the troops by a
soldier, each working to a common plan. The presence of Air Chief Marshal
Tedder and of Air Marshal Coningham in this theater is a guarantee that the
methods employed in Air-Army operations in this theater will be those which have
been tested and proved by experience in the Mediterranean theater.

The Liberation of Europe
In this country the Royal Air Force is preparing to play its part, in combination
with the Army and the Royal Navy, in the battle for liberating Europe. We have
made our dispositions. A year ago we had Fighter Command and Army Co-
operation Command. The latter was designed solely for working with the Army.
Fighter Command not only defended this country and escorted coastal convoys,
but also carried out offensive operations across the Channel. These two Commands
have now been combined with the American 9th Air Force into a new organization
described as the Allied Expeditionary Air Force under the command of Air Chief
Marshal Leigh-Mallory. This Force has two main components. On the one hand,
the 2nd British Tactical Air Force, under the command of Air Marshal Coningham,
and the 9th American Air Force, under General Brereton, will be available to sup-
port operations on the Continent of Europe; on the other hand, a force for which
we have revived the old name of the Air Defence of Great Britain, under the
command of Air Marshal Hill, will be responsible for the day and night defense
of these islands. We have thus separated and defined the offensive and defensive
functions, while at the same time unifying them at the highest level for the great
and intricate battles ahead. These squadrons, both in the Allied Expeditionary
Air Force and in the Air Defence of Great Britain, are actively engaged in training
as well as in operations. They are not standing idly by waiting upon events, but
they are constantly attacking objectives in France and the Low Countries, or ships
at sea or in harbor, escorting bombers in their attacks on occupied territory, and
also giving escort to American bombers on their way out or on their way home
from battles over Germany.

The Renewal of the Blitz
In recent weeks the night fighter squadrons of the Air Defence of Great Britain
have been tackling what I have frequently warned the House and the public they
would have to tackle, a recurrence of the blitz. The kind of attack they have had
to meet is one which it is very difficult to counter. Whereas our bombers penetrate
hundreds of miles into German territory in a thick stream, fighting all the way into
the target, over the target and all the way home, and making while they are over
the target concentrated and devastating attacks, the Germans fly very fast across
the coast at a great height, twisting and turning, scattering their bombs over
London, then diving steeply at maximum speed until they cross the coast at 2,000
feet or less. Probably the whole time spent by any one German bomber over this
country is less than 20 minutes.
I do not seek to minimize the hardships and suffering which these attacks bring
to many of our people. Some of them have lost their lives, others have lost their
homes, in the recent raids. It is little consolation to a family which has suffered
to be told that the attack was of no possible significance in the course of the war.
On the contrary, the people who have suffered are entitled to the assurance that we
keep our defenses in the best possible order and I can give this assurance to the
House, not that our defenses are perfect but that we are constantly exerting our-
selves to improve them by every imaginable contrivance, that there has been a steady

British Speeches of the Day

growth of improvement from the earliest days of the blitz at the beginning of the
war until now, that that improvement is going on, and that our superb night fighter
squadrons keep themselves at the highest pitch of efficiency.
Meanwhile, remembering the extraordinary difficulties, which I have attempted
to describe to the House, of countering this form of haphazard and militarily futile
attack, the rate of'casualties inflicted on the enemy is creditable to our night fighter
squadrons and to the anti-aircraft gunners and searchlight crews of the Army. The
measure of our success is that in each of the last two months we have been able to
inflict on these raiders a higher rate of casualties than all the massed fighter defenses
of Germany have been able to inflict on our far more numerous bombers penetrat-
ing deeply into enemy territory.
On the other hand, we must not believe that the forces which the enemy has
sent over here are the greatest strength which he can muster. His power of striking
back is far from negligible. I should not wish the country to feel, when the time
comes for his efforts to disorganize our preparations and to take the edge off our
offensive spirit, that we have been caught unprepared. I shall not say,, like
Goering, that our defenses can ward offany attack. What I can say is that we have
foreseen the attack, and whatever shape it may assume, or in whatever weight it may
come, we shall be ready to pit our forces against it. Attack, however, is the best
form of defense, in the air as well as on land. The only final and complete defense
is to destroy the enemy's power at the source. So long as Germany has weapons
in her hand some part of her blows must fall upon these islands. We cannot
better protect our homes than by increasing the weight of our attack upon Germany.

Bombing the German Cities
Meanwhile, the battle which Bomber Command and the United States Army
Air Forces are fighting over Germany is on so different a scale that it is impossible
to compare it with the German blitz on this country. Huge centers of war industry
in the Ruhr, in Hamburg, in Berlin and many other German cities have been oblit-
erated, and in the year under review the United States Army Air Force has entered
the battle in full strength. A recent spell of weather of a kind which favors day-
light precision bombing also enabled the British and American Bomber Commands
to combine both day with night operations and operations from Italian bases with
those from British bases. The British and American Commanders were swift to
seize this opportunity and to act upon plans which, to my certain knowledge, have
been prepared for many months past. It may well be that historians of the future
will look back upon this period between the February and the March moons as one
of the decisive stages of the whole war.
To assess whether the results we have gained justify the resources we have
spent on our bomber force is not a matter of speculation. I have the impression
that our bomber offensive is sometimes thought of as if it were producing no visible
results for the time being, but might lead to the enemy's sudden collapse, as if we
were hammering at a door in the expectation that the lock might suddenly give
way. On the contrary, we are steadily pushing the door open, inch by inch, until
we can pass through. Our offensive is producing results which are visible, meas-
urable and progressive.

Photographing the Damage
As soon as possible after our attacks we always photograph the results. We
know not merely what factory has been hit-when we can get the photographs
which has been very difficult in recent months owing to the perpetual cloud over
Germany-but which shop in the factory and what it was producing. For example,

The War in the Air 9

in the recent raid on Stuttgart we know that the Robert Bosch factory, producing
the greater part of the magnetos, sparking plugs and fuel pumps for the German
Air Force, was put out of action for many months, and the Hesser Maschinenfabrik,
producing components for submarine engines, was gutted in the same action. We
can also, by piecing together information from one source and another, form an
estimate of the production loss by factors that are not shown on a photograph,
that is, the man-hours lost through the interruption of communications and food
supplies, through disorganization of administration, and above all through weari-
ness caused by all these factors and by the nervous strain of constant attacks.
In Leipzig, after the great Bomber Command attack of December 3, our photo-
graphs showed that of the great World's Fair Buildings, which produced com-
ponents for hundreds of aircraft every month and covered 100 acres of space, not
one remained intact; in the American raid on the same town on February 20, the
huge Erla complex of factories for producing Messerschmitt 109s was wrecked. In
the three great blows which the town of Leipzig sustained in as many months no
type of industrial undertaking escaped damage; the railway stations, goods yards
and warehouses, tramway depots, gas works and barracks, all essential parts of the
war production of that manufacturing center, are included in the record. The
concentrated products of thousands of hours of skilled work, of careful rationing,
spoils from the occupied territories, supplies laboriously transported thousands of
miles, the precious fraction that gets through our blockade-are all destroyed in
one night. Machine tools, generators and transformers, precision instruments, all
are buried under a crumpled heap of girders; food, materials, chemicals and timber
are piled in a smoking ruin. These are the sinews of war. Repair and replace
them the Germans. can in the long run, if we let them-some of their efforts at
repair have been really remarkable-but it is in these photographs of bomb damage
that we can read some, at least, of the reasons why Germany has no longer abundant
manpower and materials to throw into the offensive. Repair and defense must
have first claim. Far better than capturing or destroying 100 enemy guns in the
field, after perhaps they have killed many of our own men, is to destroy them
half-completed in the shops, and at the same time the tools with which the enemy
could in a month produce 200 more.
And Berlin, the greatest battle of all. Little output can the enemy have been
obtaining from its hundreds of factories-those that are still functioning at all-
with little efficiency can the administrative center of the Reich have been directing
their vast war machine, when the workpeople, the clerks and the executives know
that the morning may see no railways, no trams, no buses running, no electricity,
no gas, no water, when the shops are empty, their meals obtained from canteens
and their nights spent in a shelter, and their prospects-still greater desolation.
Not only have they before their eyes the physical destruction of the emblems of
Nazi power, its Chancelleries, Brown Houses and Gestapo Headquarters, but in
the present confusion and memories of broken promises they see the crack appear-
ing in the Nazi edifice itself.

Germany's Weak Spots
We should be wearing long faces now if we had lost one-quarter of the re-
sources the Germans have lost in the last year. It is not only the over-all loss of
production and consumption of manpower on repair and replacements; there are
many points where the Axis is especially vulnerable, and these points we have not
neglected. Some of them have been particularly appropriate-since the specialized
targets are usually small-for attack by day, and it is against such targets, heavily
defended because so vital to the enemy, that some of the most successful blows
of the American Army Air Forces have been delivered. Ball-bearing factories at

British Speeches of the Day

Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, Steyr and Villa Perosa; Messerschmitt 109s at Leipzig,
Wiener Neustadt and Regensburg; 110s and 410s at Gofha, Brunswick and Augs-
burg; Focke Wulfs at Oschersleben, Tutow, Anklam and Marienberg; Junkers at
Halberstadt and Bernberg; great component, equipment and engine factories for
these and other types of aircraft at Berlin. These have been among the chief tar-
gets of the British and American bomber offensives, accessible, some of them, from
our bases here, some from the Mediterranean, some from both.

Enemy on the Defensive
In the past year I have drawn attention to the large part of the enemy's
resources which our bomber offensive was engaging-a million men engaged in
passive defense, hundreds of thousands in making and maintaining fighters and
anti-aircraft artillery. The offensive justified itself by the fact alone that we were
keeping from the Eastern and Mediterranean fronts aircraft, men and guns that
the enemy might have used to turn the battles there. Bomber Command and the
United States Bomber Squadrons have compelled the German High Command,
as their whole front recoils in the East, to tie down for the protection of their
factories full four-fifths of their fighter strength in the West. This is the true
strategic employment of air power, turning the course of the land battles by actions
fought many hundreds of miles away. Now we can claim not only that we have
engaged these Forces, but that we have made great gains in spite of them. The
effects are identical with those of military occupation; we have destroyed production,
we have denied resources, we have interrupted communications and we have carried
the war on to German soil.

Decreasing Casualties
Certainly, our gains have not been won without losses. From our bombing
operations from this country in the last year over 2,500 aircraft have not come
back. Taking an average of seven men per aircraft, this means that nearly 18,000
men, drawn from the flower of our manhood are killed or prisoners. But compare
this with the bloody fighting of the Eastern Front, or with the carnage of the last
war. On one day, July 1, 1916, we lost on the Somme 21,997 men killed and
missing, to secure-I quote the Official History-an advance three and a half miles
wide and one mile in depth. Our air crews who have fallen in destroying the
weapons of the Nazis at their sources are in the position of the man who dies
putting out of action the enfilading machine-gun which is decimating his comrades
and so lets the advance go through. I may add that our losses are becoming pro-
gressively less heavy compared with the effects we are achieving. The ratio of
casualties to the weight of bombs dropped is steadily falling, in spite of the fact
that the range of our attacks has been steadily increasing. Berlin received in Janu-
ary of this year, in a single month, as great a weight of bombs as has fallen on
London from the beginning of the war till now.
The rising numerical strength of Bomber Command is not, of itself, sufficient
to account for these extraordinary achievements. There are other and more impor-
tant explanations. We have developed navigational aids and safety devices of
which I have spoken to the House from year to year as I have introduced these
Estimates, and the harvest of scientific genius that we were hoping to reap has been
reaped. And here a significant point enters. Just as in operations the enemy faces
the British and American Forces, not separately but together and acting under one
plan and in one battle, so in the scientific fields his scientists are pitted not against
British and American scientists, but against the combined Anglo-American scientific
effort. Pooling between us is complete, one hundred per cent. Thousands of
hours are saved because development is not carried out separately on each side of

The War at Sea 11

the Atlantic; where one partner makes an advance the other can at once add to it
and does not have to catch up on his own. Another great reason to account for the
wonderful achievements of Bomber Command is the introduction of the Pathfinder
Force and the brilliant conduct of its operations by Air Vice-Marshal Bennett. This
has enormously increased the effectiveness of the bomber offensive. It is attribut-
able also to the admirable conduct of our operations by Air Chief Marshal Harris,
and his staff and commanders, working under the wise and steadfast direction of the
Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Charles Portal-and, above all, to the excellence of the
products of our factories. I said above all, perhaps, in the wrong place, because
I feel inclined to say above all to the skill and bravery of our crews. Do not be
guided by what they themselves say-this talk of "a fair amount of flak, night
fighters a bit plentiful, a routine trip." Every man of them knows the dangers
of these long flights, the dangers of icing or mechanical failure, and the risk that
fog may have covered their bases before they return. To these are addea the
greatest concentration of guns and searchlights that any Power has ever mustered
and a German fighter force much greater than that with which we fought and
broke the enemy in the Battle of Britain.
The events of the coming weeks no man can foretell. Already, while the dust
and smoke still billow round his shattered factories, the enemy is driving his
toiling millions to desperate efforts to recover the ground he has lost. The
wounded tiger is dangerous. But there lies before us, now nearly attainable, the
glittering prize of air supremacy-the talisman that can paralyze German war
industry and war transport that will clear the road for the progress of the Allied
Armies to Berlin.
m [House of Commons Debates]

First Lord of the Admiralty
House of Commons, March 7, 1944

The naval war in 1943 has been marked by three dates which stand out like
peaks along our road to victory. The first, which is rather a short period than a
date, was the last ten days of March; the second, September 11; and the third,
December 26. The last two will be readily identified. On September 11, with
poetic justice, the major units of the Italian Fleet anchored under the guns of the
fortress of Malta. On December 26, the Duke of York, and other ships of His
Majesty's Home Fleet, destroyed the Scharnhorst, which, following upon the amaz-
ing attack on the Tirpitz by our midget submarines, was the last of the effective
full-sized German capital ships. The few days from March 20 onwards were,
perhaps, an even more important turning point, for, in that short space of time,
the trend of merchant shipping losses changed with a suddenness which it is
hardly possible to exaggerate.
War on the Wolf-Packs
In the previous December, January and February, merchant losses had shown
a welcome reduction, after the peak which they had reached in November, 1942.
This reduction in the winter was, however, partly due to the weather, for that
winter in the North Atlantic was one of the worst on record, hampering the
U-boats and subjecting their crews to considerable strain; but, of course, the escorts

British Speeches of the Day

and our aircraft were also affected, indeed more than the U-boats, since they suf-
fered more severely from weather damage. Nor did the U-boats in any way
relax their efforts, notwithstanding the stresses which they had undergone. In the
first twenty days of March, the losses leaped up again, and among ships in convoy
those losses reached a new high level. On a superficial view, it might have seemed
as if perhaps after all the U-boats with their pack tactics might defeat the convoy
system, but all the time our maritime forces, that combination of ships and aircraft
which nowadays is the foundation of sea power, were constantly expanding. With
our growing strength, we were able to make new dispositions, including the forma-
tion of special reinforcement groups of ships which could be sent to the aid of
threatened convoys. In the last ten days of March, the merchant sinkings dropped
headlong by two-thirds. The losses have fluctuated about this lower rate, and at
no time have they approached the level they reached before this dran atic change.
The great actions, lasting as much as four days and nights, which preceded this
remarkable turn of the tide, continued for some time after, and I think it is well
that our people should comprehend their size and their significance. Sometimes
the enemy deployed as many as thirty U-boats against one convoy, and, on our side,
the number of surface ships and aircraft together, acting in close cooperation,
would be of the same order. When the last U-boat is safe at the bottom of the
sea or in our ports, and we are able to look back over the vast panorama of the
whole war, these actions may well be seen worthy to be counted among ihe decisive
maritime actions of history. When they had been fought out, the -boats had
received such a battering that they virtually abandoned the North Atlantic for
several months. As a result of this success there have since been periods, as the
House will know from the monthly statements issued by the President"and the
Prime Minister, when more U-boats have been sunk than merchant ships.. The total
sinking of merchant ships for 1943 were, in fact, below our most optimistic hopes
at the beginning of the year, and indeed were little more than half of the working
estimate that we then thought it prudent to. adopt. The average for the last eight
months is actually below the level of 1918. The reduction is further exemplified
by the falling proportion of ships lost in main North Atlantic and United Kingdom
coastal convoys. In 1941, one ship was lost out of every 181 which sailed; in
1942, one out of every 233; in 1943, one out of every 344. The losse; in these
convoys during the second half of last year were less than one in 1,000.

The Coastal Command
This change in the situation is due to a number of causes. At times the enemy
has ascribed it almost entirely to the improvements which have taken place in our
weapons and devices. Great credit is certainly due to our scientists and technicians
but naturally there were other reasons also. It would be invidious to attempt to
place them in any formal order of importance, but equally it would be right for
me, speaking for the Admiralty, to give prominence to the growth and efficiency
of Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force, the ability of its commanders and
their excellent cooperation with the Navy. I would emphasize again that these
aircraft, especially adapted, and with crews specially trained, for work over the
sea, are an essential component of the forces required under modern conditions for
the exercise of sea power. I cannot speak too highly of the skill, the courage and
the endurance which the crews of Coastal Command have shown in succoring
convoys and developing offensive operations against the U-boats. The past twelve
months or so have witnessed not only a global expansion of the Command, but
"also an increase in- the proportion of very long-range aircraft which are able to
provide cover for convoys hundreds of miles out to sea and even right across the
North Atlantic.

The War at Sea

The Surface Escorts
A no less important cause of the turn in our fortune is, of course, the skill and
the leadership of the senior officers of our escort groups. Naval action operating
round a slow-moving convoy, unlike battle between surface vessels, is, as I have
said, a long drawn-out affair, imposing great strain on the officers and ships' com-
panies of the escorts, and upon crews of the merchant vessels. These escort group
commanders have not only to control and operate their groups against the enemy,
but also, and at the same time, to hold their very large convoys together, often in
adverse weather, and force them through the ocean danger areas.
All the time, of course, as a result of the plans made long ago, our surface
escorts were increasing. They have continued to increase in number. The Ameri-
can Forces have similarly expanded, and we are very much indebted to America,
not only for many of the very long-range aircraft but also for a considerable pro-
portion of the escorts now manned by the Royal Navy. Apart from the frigates,
corvettes, the destroyers and the sloops, our two Navies now possess tens of
escort carriers, which can provide air cover for convoys at any point on their route.
These ships have indeed proved most valuable, whether they have been used in
offensive hunting groups, or in the no less exacting and responsible duty of pro-
viding dose protection for the convoys.
This growth in the numbers of air and surface escorts has enabled us to do
three things, which lack of resources previously prevented us from doing on any-
thing like the scale we should have wished. I have already mentioned the special
groups which we have been able to form to reinforce the escorts of convoys actually
threatened with attack. Next, it has enabled us to take the offensive with other
special forces against the U-boats in the areas, principally those like the Bay of
Biscay, through which they must maintain a dense traffic on their way to and from-
their patrolling grounds. This offensive has been principally conducted by Coastal
Command with some American air squadrons, who have most resolutely carried
out this dangerous task with skill and gallantry, and great success. Naval forces-
sloops, destroyers and escort vessels of the Royal and the Canadian Navies and
escort carriers of the United States Navy-have also taken an important and very
effective part in this offensive.

Training and Rescue
Thirdly, our increased resources have made more training possible; and enabled
us to keep the composition of the escort groups much more stable, and thus to
develop the high degree of team work which produces the most astounding results.
I will not compare the achievements of the different services and units which have
been engaged, because, of course, the number of kills obviously depends to a very
great degree upon opportunity. As an example, however, of what can be achieved
by intensive training, highly developed team work, and skilled leadership, I would
mention that there are escort groups, composed of just a few ships each, whose
total score of U-boat kills already exceeds half a dozen. The Second Escort Group,
under Captain F. J. Walker, C.B., D.S.O., has been outstanding, both in special
operations and in the defense of convoys. The kills of that one group have now
reached the respectable total of seventeen. Two other groups have also been par-
ticularly successful, mainly in protecting convoys-the Seventh British Escort
Group, commanded by Commander P. W. Gretton, D.S.O., and the Third British
Escort Group, co-timanded throughout most of its history by the late Commander
A. A. Tait, D.S.O., who unfortunately was killed in action shortly after scoring his
final success against the U-boats.
This description of our anti-submarine forces would not be complete without
a mention of the headquarters which is principally responsible for their training,

British Speeches of the Day

developments, organization and operation. The Western Approaches Command
under Admiral Sir Max Horton, himself an old distinguished submarine officer,
comprises not only this headquarters, but also the bulk of the training units and of
the escort and support groups which actually fight the U-boats in the Atlantic.
From the Commander-in-Chief himself and his directing staff to the most junior
members of the ships' companies, the whole Command is entitled to great credit
on their record of the last twelve months. The reduction in the loss of tonnage
has been happily reflected in the Merchant Navy casualties, and in 1943, I am
glad to say, the number of officers and men lost was roughly only half of that in
1942. The Admiralty, in consultation with the Ministry of War Transport, has
been able to increase substantially the number of the special rescue ships, which
are sailed with convoys now for the sole purpose of rescuing survivors and giving
medical attention. Each carries a naval doctor and a hospital staff and they are
now an integral part of the convoy system. There have been many reports from
the naval escorts praising the high standard of seamanship and efficiency of the
masters, officers and crews of these vessels, which have been operated with magnifi-
cent courage and efficiency. A special scheme has been in force for some time now
with the object of enabling merchant ships to eliminate funnel smoke and thus
reduce their chances of being detected. Over 600 sets of equipment have already
been delivered under this scheme, and large-scale arrangements have been made to
train firemen in the best methods of stoking. The results are most encouraging and
they have already helped materially to reduce the number of convoy stragglers.
Similarly we have been successful in cutting down the losses from ordinary
marine risks by 25 per cent, as a result of improved navigational aids, added to,
of course, the growing experience of the personnel themselves of the navigational
hazards peculiar to wartime. The total effect of these and all the other measures to
help merchant ships protect themselves, can be gauged from the estimate which the
Admiralty operational research section have made that, since July, 1942, the saving
effected by those means has been at the rate of, roughly, 100 ships per year.
U-Boats May Stage a Come-Back
Having thus described the great improvement in the situation which has been
wrought by unremitting effort, I am anxious that no one should begin to think
that any relaxation is possible. Indeed, we must recognize that there may yet be
periods, when losses will mount again. The Germans have probably at least as
many U-boats now, as at the beginning of 1943. In the early months of last year
the production of U-boats exceeded kills, and in recent months the U-boats have
often sought to avoid destruction by avoiding action. The bombing of the U-boat
building centers has certainly reduced output; but there is not the slightest evidence
that the enemy has in any way abandoned his intention to cripple our sea com-
munications if he possibly can. On the contrary, the Germans are still making
every endeavor to improve the performance and the equipment of their U-boats.
They have provided them with greatly increased anti-aircraft fire power; they have
brought their new acoustic torpedo into service; and we must expect further devel-
opments still. Recently the Germans seemed to be trying to develop tactics based
upon an increased use of very long-range aircraft, acting in cooperation with their
We have already reported in the Press a number of successes by our shipborne
fighters against these aircraft to whom credit should be given. Perhaps the best
indication that Admiral Doenitz aims at putting more U-boats into the fight, is the
fact that more and more concrete shelters are still being built by them in the oper-
ational bases. It can, therefore, be regarded as certain that he will try, and try
again, to stage a come-back, and these efforts may be more sustained than that
made in September last, when the U-boats sallied out once more in force on the

The War at Sea

main Atlantic routes, but failed on that occasion to keep the campaign going. We
must also expect that the U-boats will, as at present, seek to expand their effort
in far distant waters such as the Indian Ocean. Many may, of course, be tempted
to ask whether, since the net shipping gains of the United Nations in 1943 so
much exceeded estimates, there will now be cargo space to spare for less essential
imports and whether economy in the use of the ships themselves is as necessary as
it was before. It is true that we are better off than we expected to be. The
reopening of the Mediterranean through route to our shipping is worth a gain of
about a million gross tons, and the liberation of North Africa and Italy together
have brought in half as much again as that in actual ships. And yet the fact
remains that all these unforeseen profits must be firmly, indeed ruthlessly, ploughed
back into this business of war. It is the policy of the United Nations to use these
extra resources to accelerate the pace of the war. In his speech a fortnight ago the
Prime Minister warned the House that the European war may well take a good
deal longer than many people had thought. I feel sure, therefore, that there will
be every support for the policy of using every additional ship in the most direct
way possible to prevent the war lasting a day longer than it need. I can say now,
that in order to launch the North African landings nearly eighteen months ago,
we had to withdraw merchant ships and escorts from other duties, on a scale which
our economy could not possibly have stood indefinitely. The risk was justified
only because we had already entered upon a period when each month was witness-
ing an expansion of the shipping resources of the Allies. Ever since, the United
Nations have been preparing new operations both in Europe and in the East, and
as these grew, so the service demand for shipping space rises without ceasing.
The Debt to Sir Dudley Pound
I have spoken of the dramatic suddenness with which the statistical picture of
the Battle of the Atlantic changed last March. As the House will have realized,
this change was actually the result of a long, planned build-up, and those officers
at the Admiralty with the greatest knowledge and acutest judgment predicted a
radical improvement even in the dark days a year ago. I remember in particular
the calm confidence expressed at that time by the late First Sea Lord, Admiral of
the Fleet Air Sir Dudley Pound; and I could not allow this yearly review to pass
without paying tribute to the memory of this great sailor. His one idea was to
serve his country to the last with all his power, and this indeed he did. With this
all-consuming purpose always in mind, he shunned rather than courted public
notice. But his great qualities are now more and more appreciated as it becomes
more apparent how steadfastly he brought the Naval affairs of the country through
the most critical period we have ever known in our history. Possessing great vision
and a practical sense of which I have never met the superior, he declined firmly
to be diverted from the primary objects which he always kept in mind; and the
incomparably brighter picture which I am able to present to the House today
derives more from his steadfast planning than from any other professional source.
I am glad to say his place has been filled by another distinguished sailor, Admiral
of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, who I feel certain the House will recognize
has the most brilliant record of any of our sea commanders in this war. The
House will no doubt join with me in expressing the hope that, having now re-
ceived the surrender of one enemy fleet'in person, he will, as First Sea Lord, still
be guiding the destinies of the Navy when messages reporting the surrender of
the other two are received.
Dominion and Allied Contribution
SI have dealt in some considerable detail with the so-called Battle of the Atlantic,
because, situated as this country is, that Battle is fundamental to its fortunes. The

British Speeches of the Day

past year, however, has seen many other notable achievements of which I could
speak-the deathless courage, so typical of the submarine service, of those crews in
the midgets which struck the Tirpitz; the combination of superior gunnery and
tactical maneuver which sank the Scharnhorst-but these have already been well
described in the official communiques and Press reports, and I am anxious to pass
to less well-known matters which may be of some interest to the House. For the
same reason I do not propose, much as I should like to do, and highly though
they deserve it, to catalog again the ever-growing contribution of the Navies of
the Dominions and of our Allies. I was able recently to pay tribute in the House
to the outstanding part played by Canadian industry and the Royal Canadian Navy
and Air Force. All the Dominions, India and all the Allies have pressed forward
as eagerly as ever to bear the biggest share of which they are capable, and the
mutual support of the Royal Navy, the Dominions Navy and the Allied Navies
is a source of strength, moral as well as material, which our cause could not do
Nor can I make more than a passing reference to the meritorious service of
all the various branches of the Navy-the never-ending hazardous work of the
minesweepers; the superb courage shown by the submarines wherever they operate,
from the Norwegian Leads to the tropical straits of the Malay Archipelago; the
ceaseless vigil of the battleships and the large carriers providing together the bat-
tle fleet cover which still remains the ultimate foundation of Naval strategy; .the
skill and devotion of the Fleet Air Arm in the small carriers flying on and off
their restricted landing decks in Atlantic weather, occasionally even in gales blow-
ing at sixty miles an hour. Nor ought I to forget the constant, devoted and efficient
service of the Women's Royal Naval Service. All these and many more activities
each merit a chapter to themselves but time unfortunately does not allow more than
these few words of sincere admiration and gratitude.

The Maintenance of the Fleet
I pass accordingly to some aspects of that wide sweeping subject which may be
termed the maintenance of the Fleet. There was a time when our ship production
came in for a great deal of criticism. No doubt there are many people who are
still not satisfied with what has been achieved. Nor for that matter are the Ad-
miralty. We never are, and are always seeking to do better. Nevertheless, there
is much in the record on which we are not ill-content to rely before the bar of

Mobilization and Dilution
The number of skilled men in the labor force available for shipbuilding and
ship repairs must, of course, progressively decline, since wastage from natural causes
and the indispensable recruitment of tradesmen for the Services, can no longer be
entirely replaced now that the manpower of the country is fully mobilized. These
disadvantages the Admiralty, with the co-operation of the industry, have sought
to overcome by further dilution, by the adoption of new techniques, and by the
installation of more modern equipment. As regards dilution, I must confess the
employment of women in the industry did begin rather slowly, but it now pro-
ceeds at a much more satisfactory rate, and the number of women workers in-
creased by about 60 per cent in 1943. In the result, the output of warships in this
country up to the end of January was only very slightly less than that of the last
war, if one makes allowance for the difference in the number of capital ships which
were in hand at the beginning of the-last war. The output of merchant ships up
to the end of the year, appreciably exceeds the total output of the last war. That

The War at Sea

is the result judging by tonnage figures alone. Judged by the amount of work per
ton, that is to say taking full account of the much greater complexity of ships today,
and particularly the tremendous increase in the detail of equipment, the achieve-
ment in ship output in this war is incomparably superior.
The burden of repairs has certainly not diminished, but tends to rise with the
growing number of ships-using our ports. Added to this, there is the great
volume of conversion of ships and refitting work which has become heavier during
the past year, partly because so many ships had to be converted for use in com-
bined operations and partly because the development of weapons and equipment
is so rapid, that ever more strenuous efforts are called for to see that our existing
warships are fitted with the latest models at the earliest possible moment.

Faster Freighters
Once more, the merchant ship target output was achieved, in spite of an in-
crease in the number of special jobs which that side of the industry was called upon
to undertake at short notice during the year. At the same time, the quality of the
vessels coming off the stocks was again improved, and we have heard so much in
past Debates about the speed of ships that I am certain the House will be glad to
know that the horsepower per gross ton of ocean-going ships completed in 1943
was 121/2 per cent above the figure for 1942. The provision of special fittings to
meet special operational needs continued on an expanding scale. For example, all
tramps and cargo liners completed were equipped with heavy derricks; all ocean-
going cargo vessels had more water ballast tanks-and that brings great comfort
to many a commodore-and more accommodation for defense personnel; several
ships were specially strengthened to enable them to operate in the ice conditions
which our north Russian convoys have to face. Fourteen small' tramps were spe-
cially fitted out as crane ships, and have done invaluable service in ports lacking
sufficient equipment to handle all the traffic which the war places on them. We
estimate that the extra work required, for example, on these fourteen ships to fit
them for their special duties would have been sufficient to produce between four
and five ordinary tramps of the same tonnage.

Improved Techniques
The year 1943 saw the general completion of the scheme launched the year
before for the provision, with Government assistance, of more modern equipment
for the shipyards and improvements in layout. We are now beginning to see the
return in increased output. The use of welding was further expanded; and the
number of welders, many of whom are women, is now over 30 per cent above
what it was on January 1, 1943. The greatest advance was, perhaps, in the field
of prefabrication and pre-assembly. In the most recent class of frigates at least
80 per cent of the structure has been prefabricated, and certain deckhouses have
been preconstructed and fitted out to enable them to be delivered complete to the
shipyards for lifting into the vessels. This has enabled a substantial proportion of
the load of building to be transferred from the shipyards to the structural en-
gineers. With the ready co-operation of the shipbuilders, the structural engineering
industry, and the classification societies, the Admiralty was able to organize for
this prefabrication in a comparatively short period, but with the most gratifying
results. Again, with the help of the structural engineers, we have been able to
superimpose on the ordinary shipbuilding program, a vast program of landing
craft of all sizes and shapes, from small boats holding a few men, to tank-carrying
craft up to 200 feet in length. In 1943, in the one year, many hundreds of these
landing craft, large and small, were produced in this country.

18 British Speeches of the Day

Scholarships and Promotions
The Admiralty are not only concerned with the production and maintenance of
ships. They are equally concerned with the training and contentment of the officers
and men who serve so faithfully in them, and there are some matters connected
with personnel administration which I should like to report to the House. First,
there is the continued progress of the Dartmouth scholarship scheme in which I
take a special personal interest and pride. This has now been running since 1941,
and the scholars, who are equally divided between grant-aided secondary schools
and other schools, number not far short of half the total entries. It seems un-
doubtedly to have achieved the purpose I had in view of opening this doorway to
boys from every income group. A large proportion of the parents of the scholars
receive very substantial financial help, and in over 30 per cent of the cases they
have been relieved of all expenses. The scholars include-already admitted--the
sons of laborers, mechanics, clerks and naval rating. The scheme has also achieved
another purpose, the widening of the field from which our naval officers of the
permanent service are drawn. Reports from the College say that the scholars settle
down well, and that their presence has tended to raise the general standard of effort
throughout the College in work and play. I think that is a very great tribute to
the boys entering from the working classes ....
I am giving to the grant-aided secondary schools ten scholarships each term,
three times a year, so I should say there would be about ninety from the grant-aided
schools already in the country.
In spite of the very serious difficulties of fitting in all the special training and
courses under wartime conditions, we have more than maintained the improved
system of direct promotions from the lower deck to permanent commissions which
scheme, you will remember, was inaugurated in 1931. Thus in the executive branch,
whilst there were only four such promotions in 1936, and seventeen in 1938, the
last three years have shown an average of thirty-seven each year. A similar avenue
of promotion has now been opened up in the Fleet Air Arm where a special
scheme was started in 1941; and also in the Accountant Branch where the first
promotions were made in 1942.
Special attention has also been devoted during the past year to the arrange-
ments for selecting and training temporary reserve officers. In order to accelerate
the training process without sacrificing quality, the psychological testing element
in the course has been greatly strengthened, and during training the candidates
are now given stringent leadership exercises and tests, which greatly facilitate the
task of the authorities who will subsequently appoint them to their various duties.
Furthermore, it is now possible to provide special seagoing training for officer
candidates. Before last year, the imperious demands of operations left us with no
ships to spare for this work, and sea training was, therefore, done in ships on
operational duty to which the potential officer was drafted for a period of some
weeks. In general, ships were too busy to devote much time to the special care
of those officer candidates, and the impossibility of predicting the movements of
ships on operations made it very difficult to maintain anything like a regular flow.
Three warships are now specially set aside to receive and train these candidates,
and as this is their sole duty, the instruction is now much more intensive and
beneficial. This new method is already accepted as an indispensable part of- the
officers' training scheme and I trust that there will be no fresh dearth of resources
during the war to force us back to the previous arrangement.

University Training Courses
The other main channel of entry to temporary commission is through the Uni-
versities and, I must say, is most valuable. Under this scheme suitable candidates

The War at Sea

who are at least up to School Certificate standard and are recommended by the
headmaster of their school, are given six months' free education at one of six
Universities which are co-operating in the scheme. The candidates spend not less
than one and a half days a week on naval subjects in addition to their ordinary
University courses and they are free to select these University courses according to
their bent. As a result of this free entry training, their preliminary naval training,
once they join, can be reduced; and the quality of the officers derived from this
source has been so good that the scheme deserves to be called an unqualified
Hon. Members who take a special interest in the higher training of officers
will, I think, also be glad to hear that the Staff Course has been revived, though
necessarily in a shorter form than that of pre-war days. The new course is open to
officers in the R.N.R. and R.N.V.R. as well as the Royal Navy, and is designed to
give them a thorough grounding in the duties which a staff officer is actually called
upon to perform in wartime. The second of these courses is now in progress, and
the other Services, as well as the Dominions, are represented.

Freedom of Movement
I should like to return, if I may, to my main theme of the war at sea. Today
the Fleet is stronger in relation to enemy naval strength than it has ever been since
the fall of France brought us to the brink of disaster, and the United Nations
have regained much of the general freedom of movement throughout the seas of
the world which was so drastically restricted in 1940 and so seriously threatened
in 1941 and 1942. The Mediterranean has been reopened. The Battle of the
Atlantic has taken a favorable turn. In the Pacific the Forces of the United States,
aided by the Dominions, are sweeping forward through the outer bulwarks of
Japan with a speed that would have seemed beyond expectation a year ago; and
they are not only winning one brilliant victory after another, they are also waging
a successful war of attrition against the Japanese Navy and Mercantile Marine
throughout the whole of the Far Eastern theater of operations. In the far northern
waters the Naval situation has also improved, and we have continued to deliver
weapons of war, machinery, railway material and large quantities of miscellaneous
stores to the north Russian. ports.
The.naval forces engaged in this task and the merchant ships of many nations
who have carried the cargoes to Russia, have had to endure heavy strain and sac-
rifice. Since the commencement of these Russian convoys thirteen British ships
have been sunk on this duty, and in some periods there were very considerable
losses of merchant ships. Yet, over all, 88 per cent of the cargoes consigned have
got through. The great effort has been more than rewarded for those cargoes, so
costly in ships and blood, have surely been most magnificently turned to account
in the hands of the Red Army.
Conversely, the Axis hopes of limited but highly valuable trade between Japan
and Germany have been largely extinguished. Of the eleven blockade runners
which set out during the past twelve months on the long, furtive voyage to Europe,,
only two reached port, and both were damaged.

In Coastal Waters
It is not only the enemy's transoceanic trade which has suffered. His coastal
movements have also been subjected to dislocation. In conjunction with the strike
wings of Coastal Command and R.A.F. fighters our Light Forces have constantly
attacked enemy convoys in the Channel, off the Dutch coast and in Norwegian

British Speeches of the Day

waters. In these vigorous operations, surface and air forces have acted in the
closest combination, the efforts of the one being complementary to the other. In
the Mediterranean, also, our Coastal Forces, together with the destroyers of the
Fleet, are making the Adriatic uncomfortable, to say the least, for the enemy.
German coastal navigation has also been much impeded and, I am certain,
suffered many losses as a result of our minelaying activities. I am sorry that for
reasons of security those activities cannot be described in detail, but we have suf-
ficient information to warrant the statement that they are a great deal more than
a thorn in the enemy's side. This is another aspect of maritime warfare in which
ships and aircraft work together in the fulfillment of a single comprehensive plan.
The fast minelayers, submarine minelayers and Coastal Forces minelayers sow
their deadly cargoes in the more accessible waters, but the plan requires that enemy
traffic should be attacked in waters which ships cannot penetrate, and here Bomber
Command takes up the task, as far afield as the inner recesses of the Baltic. Air
crews and ships' companies alike have shown the utmost keenness, skill and devo-
tion to duty, and the co-operation between the Naval and Air Staffs concerned has,
I am certain, been admirable.
The Price Paid
The present commanding position at sea has only been reached by dogged per-
sistence after many disappointments, and we recognize that it will only be re-
tained by the same strenuous efforts in the future. But, however hard the struggle,
the Navy can be relied upon not to spare itself in holding what has been won
already; nor will it do so in discharging the other heavy responsibilities to which
it is committed in support of our armies and air forces in the field, both now and
in the larger operations yet to come.
The scope of these burdens which the Navy is proud to assume, is, I believe,
difficult for the layman to grasp. The Prime Minister has already mentioned to
the House the 716 bombardments carried out in support of the Army in the
Sicilian and Italian campaigns and which are continuing almost continuously.
There is every evidence that these bombardments have rendered most effective
assistance to the land operations. Such undertakings are not carried through without
loss, and already the Navy's share in the struggle of the Nettuno beach-head alone
has cost us two cruisers, the Spartan and, as we announced early this morning, the
Penelope, a great ship with all her wonderful record in this war, and two destroy-
ers, the Janus and the Inglefield, and five major assault vessels. The total losses of
the Royal Navy and the European Allied Navies in the Mediterranean since the
start of the Sicilian campaign amount to these two cruisers, a minelayer, ten de-
stroyers, two submarines, and ten minor war vessels. The support of the Navy
in these amphibious operations is given only at a great price.
Organizing the Expeditions
When one considers the many hundreds of landing craft already produced in
this country, and adds to this the large assignments from America, it will readily
be realized that the business of organizing all these diverse vessels into flotillas and
larger units has indeed been a formidable one, more especially seeing that we had
to begin on that job from the beginning not much more than three years ago.
Special repair facilities have had to be created, and large numbers of men specially
instructed in the maintenance of highly-specialized craft. Living conditions vary
considerably. In the larger ones the crews can live on board, but in others,
except for very short periods, they have to be accommodated in depot ships or at
shore bases; in either case, the administration of this vast number of small mobile
units has produced a whole crop of new and complex problems.

The War at Sea

Then, again, the officers and men of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines
who man them, have had to receive intensive training, which in many respects
differs widely from that required in the other branches of the Service, and this has
often had to be arranged in a very short space of time, because of the speed with
which some of these craft have had to be turned out. It is a matter of no little
credit to all. concerned that a great many of these vessels sailed to the Mediterranean,
through the storms of the Bay of Biscay, under their own power, and that in all
the recent landing operations the report has always been that the Navy got the
troops to the right place at exactly the right time.
But the preparations are by no means finished when these special craft and all
these converted ships have been provided, manned, maintained and organized into
tactical formations. Each operation demands, as well, its special parties to control
the disembarkation on the beaches, and to maintain communications in the hectic
early stages of the landing. The number of officers and men of the Navy now
engaged upon these different duties connected with combined operations is very
large indeed, and a charge upon our naval manpower far greater than ever ex-
perienced before. Nor must we forget the large part played by the officers and men
of the Merchant Navy in the landings in Sicily and Italy, and in other Combined
Operations. They have carried out their duties most ably and resolutely, in novel
and dangerous circumstances, and nothing could be better than the mutual loyalty
and admiration with which they and their comrades in uniform have co-operated.
The Far Eastern Theater
We have, of course, while devoting our immediate endeavors to preparing for
the further operations in Europe, to look beyond them to the time when we shall
descend with our full might upon the Japanese. This is not to say that we are idle
in that quarter of the globe even now. Our submarines are taking an increasing
toll of Japanese shipping, and we shall at every stage contribute to the Far Eastern
war to the maximum of our power at the time. But, whether one has an eye only to
the present or to the future as well, the Far Eastern theater of war presents certain
special problems of its own, which are of such importance that it -would be well to
remind the House of their essential features. These problems all spring from the
fact that thousands of miles separate the Far Eastern theater from all the chief
bases of British power, and that even within the F4r Eastern theater itself, very
long distances will have to be covered between one assault and another. This
means that all the additional forces which will be turned against Japan, and all
their vast stores of weapons and equipment, except perhaps some of the aircraft,
will have to be brought by sea to the Eastern bases. It means also that most, if not
all, of the steps in the great campaign still to be fought in the Far East will be
fundamentally maritime operations, at least in their initial stages.
It accordingly follows that when we bear down upon Japan for the final blow,
our maritime forces will be more obviously than for generations past the corner-
stone of our whole strategy. The services of the Navy, and the men who man it,
will be needed. They will be needed more acutely, and probably in as great, or
nearly as great, strength as hitherto. What is more, the fight that we face with
this other island sea power will demonstrate most pointedly once more that the
ultimate sanction and final arbiter of seamastery is still the battle fleet, supported,
of course, by the air element, which is now inseparably part and parcel of mari-
time dominion. The responsibilities resting upon the Navy will be enormous, but
the merit and glory of the task still greater. The distance between one point of
attack and the next, also impose upon us the necessity of ensuring that the fleet,
and the large amphibious forces that will be required, possess the greatest degree
of mobility that we can bestow upon them, and within the limits allowed by our

British Speeches of the Day

resources, we are working to fulfill the provision of this obligation. For the same
reason it seems clear that the Fleet Air Arm will be called upon to play a peculiarly
vital part. In the North African landings and at Salerno the Fleet Air Arm had a
foretaste of providing the spearhead of protection for a landing, but it was a fore-
taste only; and at present the Fleet Air Arm, still expanding, is equipping and
preparing itself for these greater duties which appear to lie ahead. The Navy thus
stands today in a more commanding position than it has held since 1940, strenuously
preparing for further and greater responsibilities. Heavy sacrifices lie before it,
as before the other Services, and, indeed, before the whole of our people, but the
House will, I know, readily agree that, on the Navy's record so far-:nd I have
no apologies to make for that record-the country can have the utmost confidence
that it will not for one moment falter or spare one ounce of effort of which it is
capable. I will only add that I have felt grateful during the last twelve months
for the good will and the tolerance of Parliament, which has recognized, as we
have gone on, month by month, how greatly the Navy was serving the nation.
[House of Commons Debates]

Secretary of State for War
House of Commons, March 2, 1944

In peacetime, when a Service Minister makes his annual appearance at this
Box, he does so on the basis of already published Estimates, which set out in
detail his proposals for the coming year. It is true that he is called upon to defend -
his record for the past year, but, in the main, he is occupied with his plans for
the future. In wartime he is much more confined. Even of the past he can tell
only in part, for the past is inextricably mixed up with the present and future;
and neither of the present nor the future can he tell anything which is likely to
give the enemy information as to the size, strength and equipment of the Forces
arrayed against him. Still less can the Minister disclose anything which will give
pointers to future operational plans. It is not for him to say when and how the
second, third and fourth fronts will open, or to discuss the possible counters to
the enemy's secret weapon, if any. It is true that he can, if he likes, venture into
a future which is distant enough to have no operational significance, but even
here he is likely to run into trouble and to impale himself on one or other horn
of a dilemma. If he builds splendid castles in the post-war air, he will be hailed
for a short time as a man of imagination and enlightenment, but he must always
remember that he may, and probably will, live long enough for the public to
compare performance with promise. If, on the other hand, his view of the future
pays regard to what is quite likely to be stern reality-if, in other words, he
counts the cost of his castles-he is certain to be belabored in all quarters, in
and out of the House, as a reactionary and a red-no, I beg pardon, a white
tapeworn. In the story which I am now to give I must deal, therefore, much more
with the past than with the present and future. I shall not altogether neglect
the future but I shall watch my step very carefully so as to avoid both of the
very pointed horns to which I have just referred. But even in this restricted field,
I shall be able to cover only a small part, and I hope therefore that the House
will allow me to deal reasonably fully with a limited number of topics rather
than try to hurry quickly over the whole area.


The War on Land

The War in Africa
First, as regards military operations. I am afraid that I shall say little that
has not already been made public as the actual events have opened, but it may
be that, if the story is told continuously, we shall see the pattern in the carpet
which is not discernible while it is being unrolled. A year ago the 8th Army,
having completed the destruction of the Italian Empire, was about to enter Tunisia
from the East. Inside the western boundary of the same French colony, the 1st
Army was with an American Army and a substantial contingent of the liberated
French, building up the other jaw of the nutcrackers. At the same time, the
Navy and the Air Force were gravely interfering with the supply lines of the
German and Italian Forces left in Africa and ensuring that military defeat in
Africa could be followed by no Dunkirk. Also, at the same time, plans were
being prepared to invade the island possessions of Italy in the Mediterranean as
well as the mainland. The occupation of the former was necessary to the full
re-establishment of Britain's historic highway to the East, while the latter would
open one of the few doors into the Continental stronghold of the Axis.
The brilliant results of the Tunisian campaign are apt to obscure the fact
that it was brilliant in itself. Nobody who has been over the ground can have
any patience with the armchair strategists who, at the time, criticized the conduct
of the operations, and complained that those responsible for it did not throw
armies and air forces about at will. It is not really possible to annihilate time
and space in ten lines of print. In June and July I was privileged to see for
myself a good deal of the Tunisian battlefield, and I say that I am filled with
admiration for what our armies did, and especially with what was done in that
last phase when, after capturing Tunis, they fanned out to join hands with the
Americans who had captured Bizerta, to clear the Cape Bon peninsula and to
squeeze the last remnants of the Axis Forces up against the 8th Army's Enfidaville
position. As to the results, probably enough has been said already but I should
ike to mention four. First, the liberation of Malta from its long and heroically
endured ordeal; secondly, the capture of 300,000 Axis prisoners; thirdly, that
it was now possible to pass convoys under cover of the African shore in the
Middle East and beyond, thus saving in effect millions of tons of shipping and,
what is more, a vast amount of time; and fourthly, that we now had secure ports
and bases all along the North of Africa from which to re-enter the Europe we had
been forced to abandon three years earlier.
The Sicilian Campaign
When I was in Africa the first of these expeditions was ready, and I saw a
good many of the formations allotted to it a very short time before they were
due to embark for Sicily. I wish I could adequately express my admiration at
the quiet efficiency with which all these complex arrangements had been made,
and even more at the confident bearing and cheerfulness of the troops who were
to take part. I remember writing that I had the impression of looking at men
who were all seven feet high, and I do not think I can better that description.
Anyhow, the Sicilian expedition, unlike its Athenian predecessor, was a complete
success. Incidentally, I may perhaps mention that a large part of the population
of Syracuse took refuge in those very caves in which Nicias and his men met
their miserable end. It was clear from the beginning that the Italian Forces would
make no effective resistance, and the German Forces quickly withdrew to form
a very strong position round Etna and the northeast corner of the island. This
was ultimately forced and the occupation was completed in thirty-eight days. Some
commentators at the time thought this too long, but those of us who have seen
even the lower slopes of Etna are not disposed to share this view. Moreover, the
view overlooks the fact that nothing has occurred in the Mediterranean theater

British Speeches of the Day

to suggest that the German soldier is not still a most efficient and formidable
fighting animal. The invasion of Sicily was the first major operation in which
Canadian troops took part though, needless to say, they themselves had wished
to be in action much earlier. Their performance in Sicily and Italy has spoken
for itself and fully justified the high hopes placed on them.

The Invasions of Italy
In the meantime the Mussolini regime had fallen in Rome and it was clear
that a continuance of our pressure would very soon knock Italy out of the war.
Plans were in hand for landing on the toe and heel and for a considerable
expedition to land south of Naples. These plans had to be adjusted to the secret
negotiations for an armistice, which was, in fact, concluded on September 3. It
was not, however, announced till September 8, the eve of the landing in force
at Salerno. The landings further south at Reggio and Taranto led the Germans
to withdraw northward, opposing our progress by nothing more than intensive
and extremely skillful demolitions. I need not remind the House how the Salerno
landing was ultimately made good, after some very anxious moments due to its
being made at the extreme limit of shore-based fighter cover and to Italian
assistance being less than might have been hoped; nor how the other landing
forces ultimately joined up to form a line right across Italy. Foggia with its
airfields and Naples were soon occupied, but subsequently the determined German
resistance, combined with their ruthless destruction of roads, bridges and build-
ings and, of course, the winter rains and snows, congealed the operations into
something very like the positional warfare of 1914-1918. Slow progress in the
mountains was made, but nothing dramatic happened until the landing, "behind
the main German position, at Anzio and Nettuno on January 22.
The object of this was obviously to cut the communications with Rome and
the porth of the German Forces engaged with the 5th and 8th Armies and, of
course, to capture Rome. A good deal of diasppointment has been expressed that
a landing which was so prosperous in its beginnings did not lead quickly to
decisive results. It is not yet possible to say whether this disappointment, how-
ever natural, was justified. It is possible to say that the German High Command
reacted to the landing with the utmost vigor and fury. Forces were gathered from
the rest of Italy and beyond, and Hitler gave special orders that the positions
were to be held at all costs because a wholly successful defense would have
important political results. What these important political results were can easily
be guessed.

Eastern Mediterranean
In the Eastern Mediterranean the surrender of Italy led to no spectacular
changes. The obvious venture was the capture of Rhodes, but, with Salerno on
the balance, there simply were not the resources for a landing against determined
opposition, and the failure of the Italians to diminish that opposition from within
made it certain that no improvised expedition would succeed. However, other
key islands in the Aegean were hastily occupied and put into a state of defense.
But in the end the defense could not be made good and the German hold on the
islands is still unshaken.
In the Balkans the Germans were hard put to it to replace the occupying forces
previously furnished by the Italians. Both in Greece and in Yugoslavia the
guerillas made considerable headway for a time. In the former, that is, in Greece,
the Germans have probably re-established their position, but in the latter their
hold on the country is still partial and precarious, and Marshal Tito continues
to render his own country and the United Nations generally outstanding services.

The War on Land

Russian Strategy
This is perhaps a suitable place to say a few words about the Russian fighting.
A year ago the Soviet Forces had turned back the German flood from the Caucasus,
but the invader was still 500 miles or more inside the Russian border. Today
we have a very different picture. Though in the south there is a deep salient
this is being rapidly reduced. Hitler still clings to the Crimea, it is true, but all
the same we are now within measurable distance of seeing Russian soil cleared
of the invader. In other words, Hitler is very nearly back where he started from
three years ago. Millions of his soldiers have been killed or permanently maimed.
The dreams of rapid conquest with which he started are replaced by the certitude
of ghastly defeat, and the nation, of which he had made an ideological bogy, has
turned into a relentless foe which his master race has real cause to dread.
The hallmarks of the Russian battles are a series of carefully prepared and
co-ordinated attacks by the Soviet Forces at widely separated points and the
absence of general strategic reserves on the German side. The German High
Command, therefore, have had to move forces rapidly, and at short notice, from
one threatened front to another, and, as they could not be strong everywhere,
they have had to give ground continuously. Until recently, though they suffered
immense losses in men and material, the Germans have managed to avoid the
encirclement of any substantial part of their armies. But now it looks as if the
master hand of Hitler, which produced the disaster of Stalingrad, is at it again.
One feature of the Russian fighting which is perhaps worth mentioning is the
enormous German air inferiority, no doubt due to the preoccupation of the High
Command with the intensive British and American air attacks on the Fatherland.

The Far East
I may now come to a brief glance at the Far East. The Arakan campaign
of last year was a great disappointment. However, I hope that we had profited
from the lesson that to fight the Japanese in Burma the most intensive training
in jungle warfare and the most careful logistical-I think that is the new jargon-
preparations are necessary. More recent fighting in this theater shows, I think, that
we have so provided. In the Pacific General MacArthur's Forces have penetrated
the outer ring of Japanese defenses. Perhaps it is legitimate to mention with some
pride that a considerable part of these Forces come from the Dominions of
Australia and New Zealand. Further north the U. S. Navy are pursuing their
plan of seizing more and more strategic points in the various groups of Pacific
islands in order to prepare the way for the assault on the Japanese inner ring.
But when all is said at only one point have the Allies impinged on territory which
was Japanese before December 7, 1941.

The Eastern and Western Patterns
I have set out as briefly as I can the operational story of the past year. Here
is the pattern as I see it. In the West it is easy to see that Germany is bound
to be defeated in the end. It is clear that she cannot continue to provide Forces
to stem the Russian tide; to hold the Allies south of Rome and so keep them
away from the airfield from which Southern Germany can be more effectively
bombed; to provide for the anti-aircraft defenses of those parts of the Reich
which are already subject to heavy bomber attack; to hold down the Balkans;
and to guard against the possibility of landings based on this island, along the
whole length of the coast of France, the Low Countries or Scandinavia. Sooner
or later she must crack. But at present she is fighting with the utmost resolution,
and, except possibly where Hitler's intuitions have been at work, with consum-
mate skill. A good part of the Far Eastern pattern is still covered. But enough

British Speeches of the Day

has been revealed to show that in the end Japan, too, must perish before the
weight of the resources which can be brought against her. I think, perhaps, it
would be better if I abandoned my somewhat complicated metaphor and reverted
to the one I used a year ago. I said then that we were emerging from the dark
forest. Now we have quite definitely emerged; but, though the full light of day
shows up clearly the shining city at the end of the road, it also enables us to
see that the road is rough and winding and beset with many pitfalls.
There have been a good many reorganizations of Command during the past
year, most of them designed to further the process of inter-Allied and inter-
Service collaboration. Lord Louis Mountbatten has been appointed Supreme Allied
Commander for South-East Asia and operations outside the boundaries of India
are no longer under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, India. Under him
the land forces are commanded by General Giffard. General Eisenhower has been
appointed Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces operating from this country,
and we look to him to establish and foster here that comradeship and unity of
purpose which was the feature of his work in North Africa and Italy. In the
Mediterranean he has been succeeded by General Maitland Wilson who, for pur-
poses of better co-ordination, brings with him some of his former responsibilities
from Cairo. General Alexander carries the command of all the Allied Armies
in Italy, while General Paget takes over the very arduous Middle East Command.
At home the Army has been reorganized to provide the greatest possible striking
force, with the necessary reserves and base organization to support it. The latter,
and the defense of the Imperial base, are entrusted to General Franklyn, and the
former, under General Eisenhower's supreme command, to General Montgomery.
General Montgomery, with his 8th Army laurels still fresh, finds ready to his
hand material finely trained and tempered to make something which shall be even
better than the 8th Army. Taking the changes as, a whole, I think we can say
that all that can be done by integration of command to bring a united mind and
will to bear on the enemy has now been done..
Manpower Problems
The House will expect me to say something-indeed a good deal-about the
problem or rather the whole congeries of problems of manpower. These fall
into two broad classes-those concerned with the size of the Army's allotment
and those concerned with the use of the manpower when allotted. About the first
class of problem there is, I think, one truth which conditions everything, viz.,
that this country has probably mobilized its manpower more highly than any
other belligerent, and certainly more highly than it did in the last war. Indeed,
some people think we have bitten off just a little more than we can chew. I do
not think this, but we.have certainly bitten off a good deal more than we can
chew with comfort. Everybody will remember the facts and figures which the
Minister of Labour gave in this House on September 23, last. They show a truly
stupendous effort on the part of this country, but they also show very clearly
why no one of the Services can get all the manpower it thinks it needs to perform
the tasks allotted to it. I hope that in saying this I am not giving the impression
that the Army has any grievance against my right hon. Friend. We certainly
have not. Everything that a human being could do to help us he has done. There
have naturally been occasions when he could not do all that we asked, but no
appeal has been made on which we haven't had son\e response and nearly always
a pretty full response.
As a consequence of the fact that none of the three Services can be fully
satisfied there is a constant competition between them for manpower-manpower
not only for the actual Fighting Services. but also manpower to produce the
equipment and weapons those Services require. This competition has, of course,

The War on Land

to be settled by the War Cabinet. I said just now that no one of the Services
could be satisfied. Personally, I have often thought that the Army has taken
third place in these judgments, but I have no doubt that the other Service Ministers
would say exactly the same about the Navy or the Air Force.

The Army's Share
Anyhow, certain facts are undeniable. In the days of so-called rearmament
before the war the Army definitely made a later start than the other two Services.
This was, of course, largely due to the prevalence of the view that this country
would not need to undertake a large continental commitment, but, be that as it
may, some of the consequences of the late start are with us even today. For
example, it is well known that the Territorial Army at the outbreak of war con-
tained a large number-tens of thousands-of men within the Schedule of Reserved
Occupations. These were, of course, embodied but had subsequently to be returned
to civil life, with the result that the Army lost a great deal of even what training
had been done by September, 1939, and lost a great deal of very fine material
into the bargain. Again, there is no doubt that in the early days, when men called
up were allowed to opt for the Service of their choice, the then greater glamour
of the Navy and Air Force attracted an undue proportion of men of high physique
and quality and that the Army took an undue share of the men of lower medical
category. Even today something like 6 per cent of our men are of category "C"
or are awaiting discharge or are below the minimum age for overseas service. I
do not mean to imply that these men are not doing useful work. We do our best
to employ tem to advantage, but nothing can alter the fact that they have got
to be kept out of the fighting line.
Now let us come to the use the Army makes of its ex-hypothesi inadequate
allotment. Clearly the very inadequacy of the allotment generates a constant pres-
sure to prune and save, to reduce reserves and to make do with second-bests. In
the realm of equipment we are constantly reducing our demands on the Ministry
of Supply, and they have indeed in recent months released many tens of thousands
of their work-people. The bulk of the men and women released have gone to
increase the resources of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. The reason for
this is obvious. Though we have passed the peak of our equipment demand, the
R.A.F. have not yet reached theirs. Even so, their program is already employing
more work-people than the Army equipment program, and I dare say that there
are, in fact, as many engaged on making heavy bombers as on the whole Army
program. The main cause of the reduction in the Army demand on the Ministry
of Supply is that we have now pretty well completed the job of equipping our
Forces with their initial establishments and first reserves, and that, by and large,
we require to produce for maintenance only. But this is not the whole story.
There is going on a continuous study of the scales of initial equipment in the
light of battle experience. Then we can from time to time reduce our insurances,
for example, by reason of the opening of the Mediterranean and so diminish
our scales of reserves. Then we are always improving our standards of technical
maintenance. And, fourthly, we seek to avoid unnecessarily multiplying new
types of weapons of war.

New Weapons for the War in Asia
As regards this last, I do not, in the least, mean to say that our weapon
policy is allowed to .stagnate, or that we never make new or additional calls
upon the Ministry of Supply. Quite the opposite, in fact. Research into new
devices and projects is going on all the time and many improvements have taken
and are taking place. But we do not change merely for the sake of changing;

British Speeches of the Day

we do so only when there is a definite gain in changing. In one field, the Ministry
can expect from us a whole range of new demands, viz., those for the specialized
weapons and equipment which will be needed when we transfer our main weight
to the war against Japan. The actual size of these must, naturally, be largely
conjectural, until we can see clearly the size of the land forces which we can
deploy in the Far East. But we are not sitting still in the meantime. A special
mission has visited the U. S. A., Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, the
Solomons, India and the battle fronts in Burma in order to make a special study
of what is required for the war with Japan, and neither our friends nor our
enemies have any cause to assume that we propose to sit back as soon as we have
finished with Germany. We intend to go on, and we are preparing to go on
until that task, too, is finished.
But what the House really wants to be assured of it, I imagine, that we are
using our own Army manpower to best advantage. I think I can best deal with
this by trying to answer the questions which are most frequently asked in this
connection. These questions are, I think, first-"Why, after four and a half years
of war, is there need for this constant reshuffling and rearrangement, involving
the turning of one sort of soldier into another?" Secondly-"Why is it that, with
the very great number of men who are known to be serving in the Army, you are
not able to put more divisions into the field?" And thirdly-"Why is so large
a part of the manpower of the Army consumed by administrative and technical
units?" The first is easier to answer than the other two, and the answer, of course,
lies in the constantly changing face of the war as it affects this country. The
number of different facets is already considerable. In the beginning, what was
very uneuphonically called the "phoney" war, then Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain,
the various Middle East campaigns, the entry of Japan and the consequent entry
of the U. S. A. into the war, North Africa, Italy, the preparations for what is
miscalled the Second Front, and the developing war in the Far East against Japan.
Each of these has in prospect called for changing plans and forecasts, many of
them, either currently or in retrospect, have show up the need for continuously
adapting the tactical organization to the lessons of battle experience. I mention
only a few of the more obvious examples-the most interesting one cannot, for
obvious reasons, be given-the need for close support for the infantry involving
on the one hand the incorporation of heavy mortars in support units and the
internal rearrangement of the infantry battalion to provide for manning anti-
tank weapons; the growing need for artillery support; the desirability of the
closer association of infantry and armour in armoured divisions; the insatiable
demand for wheeled transport in all theaters where there have been long lines
of communications; and there are lots of others.

Reshuffling the Army
This volume of experience has, of necessity, then, led to considerable changes,
not only in particular types of unit, but also in the number of each type of unit
required .to make up the Army as a whole. If there had been an ample supply
of manpower, the changing necessities would have been met merely by variations
in the constitution of reserves, but, as the contrary is the case, we have had to
do a great deal of converting units or disbanding them and re-posting and re-
training the individual soldiers. I have, unfortunately, had to take a good many
unpleasant decisions of this nature, and I assure the House that it is a very
heart-rending task. But it is far worse for those who have had to be moved from
one arm of the Service to another, and worse still, for those who have devoted
themselves to building up an efficient unit with fine traditions, only to find
that either the unit disappears altogether or it is converted into one of a totally
different character. There is a tendency historically to assume that decisions of

The War on Land

this kind spring from an inherent insensitiveness in the War Office or from lack
of foresight. But I have usually, in fact invariably, found that when the reasons
for the decisions are explained they are loyally accepted and the disappointment
swallowed up in the desire and determination to promote the good of the Army
as a whole.
All this has an important bearing on the preservation of the regimental sys-
tem. The traditional ideal was to employ the great bulk of the men in the Army
in their County regiments alongside their neighbors in private life. And this
ideal ought to be preserved as far as it is humanly possible to do so. But in this
war, as in the last, breaches in the tradition have been inevitable. Casualties in
the field do not fall evenly on all units. Reinforcement pools, therefore, cannot
be adjusted in advance to the probable casualty rates and a good deal of what
appears to be promiscuous drafting is accordingly inevitable. This is not new.
It was common during periods of heavy casualties in the last war, and it was
bound to occur in this though, mercifully, casualties have been comparatively
light so far. Moreover, there is bound to be unevenness in the number of bat-
talions of different regiments at home and abroad, though we do try to ensure
that there is adequate representation of every regiment in active theaters of opera-
tions. Thus the geographical identification of men from a particular part of the
country with the regiments belonging to their Counties has suffered much inter-
ference, but, on the other hand, we have tried to interfere as little as possible
with the actual regimental traditions.
It is, for example, settled policy that no pre-war units, whether Regular,
Territorial or Supplementary Reserve, should be finally disbanded. When we
have had to convert them to other arms, they retain their identity by including
their own title in their new designation. When it has been necessary to break
up a pre-war Territorial unit in order to make men available for other arms,
although the men are posted away, the unit is not disbanded but is simply placed
in abeyance in order to niake it easy to resuscitate it should it be required at any
future time. And in re-posting individual soldiers we do our best to fit them
into a unit which is associated with their home area. I wish we could do more
than we in fact do, so that on this matter, at least, I hope hon. Members will not
hesitate to keep the War Office in general, and me in particular, up to scratch.

Number of Troops in Foreign Service
I said that my second and third questions are harder to answer than the first.
This is not all because "there is no answer. It is because the answer cannot be
given publicly without giving aid to the enemy. It is quite impossible for me
to tell the House how many divisions we have already disposed against the enemy
and what number is ready in this country for future operations or for the provi-
sion of reinforcements. Nor can I give enough information as to the general
build-up of the Army in order to show the House clearly and in detail the ratio
between the men who fight and those who support the fighting line. However,
I can give a few facts and figures which I hope may be interesting in themselves
and may help to give hon. Members some idea of the general background against
which an Army has to be constructed and striking forces created and maintained.
To begin with, before we can arrive at the Forces available for expeditions
overseas, we are faced with a number of what my right hon. Friend the Minister
of Pensions calls "disregards." Broadly speaking, about 10 per cent of the
total Army strength at any one time is represented by sick, wounded, and men
undergoing their initial training. Another considerable block is represented by
the static defenses of the country including coast defense, soldiers guarding vital
points and the anti-aircraft organization including, not only the ground anti-

British Speeches of the Day

aircraft organization, but soldiers earmarked for anti-aircraft duties on merchant
ships. The strength of the anti-aircraft organization is very much less than it
was once intended to be, and I can assure the House that we are continually
reviewing it so as to satisfy ourselves that we are not over-insuring. But recent
events have shown that a certain caution is necessary in this matter. In the mean-
time, the employment of A.T.S. in mixed batteries, and of Home Guards to man
some of the static defenses, have helped very materially in saving manpower. Then
we must allow for what I may call the home base, which includes, for example,
the R.E.M.E.,* Ordnance and R.A.S.C.t personnel who man the workshops and
the supply and store depots, without which the Army in general and the Overseas
Armies in particular cannot be fitted up or nourished when fitted up. Taking
all three of these categories together, we have to discount our total strength by
something like a third before we can embark on the task of creating Forces for
operations overseas, and even so I have made no allowance for a Home Defense
Army or for a holding and reserve organization out of which the units of the
overseas forces can be kept up to strength.

Ratio of Administrative to Fighting Troops
As regards the ratio of administrative to fighting troops, it is obvious that it
will vary with the varying local conditions of each particular theater. But over
the whole field, and including the home base, we may take it that getting on
for two-thirds of the total strength will be fighting troops and rather more than
one-third will be servicing troops. The ratio is certainly heavier on the side of
servicing troops than it was in the last war. This is largely a machine war and
the machine needs a more elaborate maintenance organization than the man. It
may be a shameful fact, but it is so. Ludicrous as it may sound, I am not sure
that the biggest single change in the Army since the last war is not the complete
disappearance of the horse, and also the mule. This, change has entailed the
provision of a multitude of lorries of varying kinds and a consequent demand
for maintenance facilities. But, on the other hand, it has stepped up the mobility
of the Army out of all knowledge. Moreover, we have greatly increased the
fire power of the division, and increased fire power needs not only more supplies
but more maintenance troops also. So, to put it briefly we have a longer tail,
but our teeth though rather fewer in proportion are much more formidable.
We are naturally striving constantly to increase the proportion of combatant
to noncombatant troops. The manpower stringency makes the utmost economy
in administrative units essential. But I am bound to tell the House that I do
not foresee any considerable change in the present proportion. All our experience
proves that the troops in the fighting line are not too lavishly supplied or main-
tained in the matter of arms and equipment. Indeed, one of the lessons that is
continually coming home to us is that we need more and more transport units.
Nevertheless, as I have said, we shall not for a moment lose sight of the over-
riding importance of getting the greatest possible impact upon the enemy. So,
then, I would sum up by saying that it is the War Office's duty to make the best
of the share of manpower which is allotted to it; to produce out of that allocation
the heaviest weight of fighting troops that it can without starving those troops
of their proper maintenance services; to reduce to a minimum the numbers of
able-bodied men employed in non-fighting capacities and on the staffs; and to
profit continuously' from the lessons learned in the field in the organization of
its formations to meet the changing aspects of war. I do not, of course, claim
that we have been or will be perfect or anything like it in this respect, but I do

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
t Royal Army Service Corps.

The War on Land

claim that the attitude of the directing staffs to these problems is receptive and
progressive, and that the organization which we are now reaching is that which
is best calculated to meet the tremendous tasks which lie before us in completing
the defeat of Germany and in re-disposing our Forces against the enemy in the
Far East.

Military Government
I should now like to spend a few minutes in saying something about military
government in occupied or liberated territories. In its simplest form this is not
a recent problem, for the ex-Italian possessions in Africa have been under British
military administration for periods of up to three years or more. There are two
points to bear in mind in this connection. The first is that in occupied enemy
territory the civil administration must of necessity be military because under inter-
national law the sole source of legal authority is the Commander-in-Chief of the
occupying forces. The second is that, whether in occupied enemy territory or in
liberated Allied territory, the primary object of the military administration is to
ensure that, so long as military operations are in progress, the needs and vagaries
of the civil population do not interfere with military operations or create diffi-
culties for the military commander. So long as operations are going on, there-
fore, the tasks of the military government staff are to preserve law and order, to
eradicate all traces of active enemy agents, to see that the civil population have
enough food to support life and to prevent among them epidemic diseases which
may spread to the soldiers.
In North Africa the period of military operations has long passed and the
administration, though still military in form and law, has been able to turn to
a wider range of problems and, in particular, to undertake beneficent activities.
But let me repeat that the problems here are comparatively simple. The population
is sparse, there are very few large centers of habitation, life is not at all compli-
cated, and needs are elementary. A European country is a vastly different busi-
ness. Nevertheless, the experience of North Africa was of great value in planning
for the administration of Sicily and the mainland of Italy. For these the early
planning and the subsequent administration was an Anglo-American enterprise,
and from all the accounts I have received the collaboration and, indeed, the inte-
gration of the staffs belonging to the two countries was about as perfect as any-
thing in this fallible world can be.
Military Government officers went ashore with the first landings and very
quickly took charge and issued the necessary proclamations in the name of the
Commander-in-Chief. Sicily is, of course, a densely populated island with a
number of large cities. There had been a great deal of destruction of works and
buildings. The senior officials of the Fascist regime, which has been clamped
on the island for twenty years, had either fled or been unceremoniously removed.
A.M.G.O.T., therefore, had to work quickly, and it naturally had to make use
of minor officials of the old regime, including the carabinieri, to such extent as
was necessary to prevent a breakdown. This course has been heavily criticized
by some hon. Members opposite, but for the life of me I do not see what else
could have been done. Freedom of speech and of the Press was restored but,
except for a revival of the Mafia, was not much taken advantage of in the early
days. I believe that there is a healthier movement recently and trade union
activity has restarted. Schools and hospitals were reopened, some sort of control
of food prices and rationing were introduced, and altogether I go so far as to
say that the first example of military government in difficult circumstances was
a brilliant success. The executive head of that government was Lord Rennell,
and though he is always concerned to emphasize the work of his co-adjutors, both

British Speeches of the Day

American and British, I am sure that a great part of the credit, both for making
the plans and carrying them into effect, must be given to him personally.

The Italian Armistice
Of course, even before the Sicilian campaign opened plans had been made
to extend A.M.G.O.T. to the mainland." Here the destruction and chaos were
likely to be even greater than in Sicily, but nobody had any doubt that the
A.M.G.O.T. organization would be able to cope with the difficulties however
great they turned out to be. At the same time, plans, were being prepared to
cover the contingency of a separate armistice with Italy and for a control com-
mission to administer the terms of such an armistice. Plans were also made to
delimit the work of A.M.G.O.T. and the Control Commission and to ensure that
they were properly dovetailed. In the event matters did not turn out quite as
expected, for the Italians became co-belligerents and a collaborative Italian Gov-
ernment transferred itself to Brindisi. Some parts of southern Italy were left
under this Government, in the forward areas A.M.G.O.A. functioned as in Sicily,
but the structure of the control commission was found to be not entirely suitable
to the changed circumstances. However, all this has now been sorted out. The
rearward territories have been transferred back to the Italian Government.
A.M.G.O.T. and the Control Commission are under one management and the
structure of each has been adjusted to this fact.

Tribute from Count Sforza
As the territory under A.M.G.O.T. included Naples, it was clear that Italian
domestic politics would obtrude themselves upon administration to a much greater
extent than in Sicily. Some criticism has been made by hon. Members opposite
because A.M.G.O.T. did not busy itself with securing a particular form of
Italian Government. But politics are a matter for politically constituted Govern-
ments and not for a military administration whose primary purpose, is to be an
adjunct of military operations. However, in these matters I am content to pro-
duce the testimony of Count Sforza, who is somewhat of a labarum to my Maz-
zinian friends opposite. When the announcement was made of the return of all
the country south of Salerno to the Italian Government he warned-naturally,
perhaps, considering his general outlook-the extremely able officers at the head
of the Control Commission to keep a careful eye on the Badoglio Government.
He then went on to pay a flaming tribute to A.M.G.O.T. and said, if I remember
the words aright, that in spite of some defects A.M.G.O.T. had been one of the
best regimes of occupation ever seen. So much for the past. I repeat that a great
deal of the credit is due to Lord Rennell for what seems to me-and to Count
Sforza-an outstanding achievement.
As regards the future. Plans for the preliminary military administration of
Burma as it is reoccupied have been worked out. Those for the other British
possessions in the Far East are being worked out. For Europe, plans to deal with
the various territories to be liberated have been concerted or are being discussed
with those concerned-I think I may reasonably say with all those concerned-
and a great deal of work has been done on the problems of administering a
conquered Germany. A great deal is also being done in training suitable staffs
for the work. Then, too, we are studying in close concert with our Allies the
wide range of relief problems. Ultimately, of course, these problems will fall
largely in the sphere of U.N.R.R.A., but it is pretty clear that in the early stages
the relief of civil population will have to be a military obligation. The procure-
ment of supplies in this preliminary period and when and how to hand over
to U.N.R.R.A.-all this kind of conundrum is under examination. Of course,
one thing is certain, and that is that nothing will work out quite as expected,

The War on Land

but that is no reason for not showing forethought. The main hypothesis of
any possible preparation has by now become an axiom, viz., that Germany and
in her turn Japan, will be thoroughly defeated and the enslaved countries will
in consequence be liberated.

Army Bureau of Current Affairs
I come now to Army Education. The broad outlines of our educational activ-
ities are by now well known to hon. Members. It is partly compulsory and partly
voluntary. The compulsory part is a combination of A.B.C.A. discussions and
of lectures, followed by questions and arguments, on a series of booklets under
the general title "The British Way and Purpose." I suppose it is fair to describe
these activities as an education in what is rather jargonistically called citizenship.
The publications are intended to be objective and they have, in my view, suc-
ceeded to a very remarkable degree in avoiding partisanship on one side or the
other. I know that the hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith
(Mr. Pritt) does not take that view; but I disagree with him on that as on a
good many other things. There is, however, one aspect in which they have been
anything but neutral. These pamphlets have definitely sought to teach the British
soldier the Cromwellian tradition of knowing what he fights for and to love
what he knows. And they have certainly made no attempt to conceal from the
British soldier that men of his race have played a great and beneficent part in
the history of the world and that they themselves and their children have and
will have an opportunity of playing at least as great and as beneficent a part
in the future.
As regards A.B.C.A., we have been paid the sincerest form a flattery in
that the R.A.F., the American Forces in this country, the Dominions and to a
large extent the Navy have copied our example. The voluntary side of Army
Education covers a very wide range of activity and I have no time to do more
than give a mere chronicle of them. Music, drama, handicrafts, languages, art,
correspondence and technical courses, the countless lectures arranged through
the C.A.C.* for Adult Education in the Forces and, I almost blush to mention
it, basic instruction for that small minority who cannot read and write. The
first impact of all this educational work naturally falls upon the Army Educational
Corps but the great bulk of it must be carried out by instructors in the units
themselves. These have been trained partly by courses at the Army School of
Education and partly by the organization of short courses in Commands. So
far as is practicable, Army Education is carried on overesas as well. The limita-
tions, of course, are obvious but they are overcome at times to an astonishing
extent. To give one totally unexpected example I am told that it was possible
to arrange for the London Matriculation Examination to be held in June at Tripoli.
I have said enough to show how important we think is the current education
of the soldier. It will become much more important as we get nearer the time
when we can begin to release some men from the Forces to return to civil life.
It is not only a question of educating a man while he is retained in the Army;
there is also the question of adjusting the training he gets in the Army to what
will be made available for him under the auspices of the Minister of Labour
after he is released. ...
I expect hon. Members will be hoping to hear from me something authori-
tative about the principles upon which soldiers will be released from the Army
when the fighting is done. I am afraid, however, that I am not in a position to

Central Advisory Council.

British Speeches of the Day

say anything new about demobilization. This is not very surprising, for the
shape of things to come, particularly in the period between the defeat of Germany
and the destruction of Japan, has not yet disclosed itself at all clearly. Three
things can be said, however. The first is that it is no good thinking that the
whole Army, or even the greater part of it, can go home as soon as Germany
is defeated. Japan will be still in the field, and to a very considerable extent in
our field, and we are, in commonsense as well as honor, bound to see that job
through too. The second is that, whatever scheme of release is adopted, it must
be not only fair but demonstrably fair. The third is that our preparations are
sufficiently far advanced that we can guarantee to cope quickly and efficiently
with any reasonable scheme of demobilization. A number of hon. Members were
able last September to see something of what we have done in the way of getting
machinery ready in advance, and I am pretty sure that in this matter at least
they share my confidence in the foresight and administrative competence of the
military machine.

The Post-War Army
This survey would not be complete without some glance at the prospects of
the post-war Army. In an examination of this problem there are many incal-
culable factors. Perhaps the only certainty is that, for many years, we shall be
forced, in our own interests and in the interests of world peace, to maintain
considerable Armed Forces, and that the land forces will have to play their part.
It may also be taken as certain that the hard core of the Army will be a pro-
fessional organization having behind it considerable reserves. But what precise
tasks will lie before the Army, whether in the period immediately following
a peace or in the years after that, is a question which cannot be answered until
we know, for example, the length and nature of the occupation of Europe, the
respective tasks assigned to the Royal Air Force and the Army, separately or in
combination, the size and location of our overseas garrisons and many other points.
And when we know these things there will still be the question of the mode of
producing the considerable reserves which, as I have just said, will be clearly
necessary. All these questions, and others, have been under examination in the
War Office for a long time, and it will not be for lack of thought if we fail, in
the years after the war, to produce, or rather to maintain, a fighting instrument
no less competent than that which we have at present.
It seems to me that one of the first necessities is that the Army of the future
should be a profession which attracts the best elements of our population, which
offers also an honorable career to all classes of the community, to almost every
kind of intellectual training, to the technician and to the scientist alike. These
objects cannot be attained unless certain basic elements are present in the Army
itself. Advancement in the Service must be open to everyone who applies him-
self to its study. The monetary rewards must be sufficient, together with the
intrinsic interest of the career, to attract a more than ample flow of recruits,
whether for the commissioned or noncommissioned ranks. We must never return
to the situation as we knew it for the ten years preceding this war, when every
unit in the British Army was short of its peace establishment, and the supply
of officers was not merely inadequate in numbers, but in some cases in quality
too. What we hope to see is a waiting list for the Army, and it is upon this
assumption that in the intervals of running the war we are working at the problem.
One matter I might perhaps mention specifically. We are considering carefully
how best to associate scientists with the post-war Army. This war has shown
how great a part science plays in modern warfare, and we cannot afford not to
attract into the military organization the best scientific knowledge and experience
that our country can produce.

War Overseas: Reconstruction at Home

The British Soldier
I do not think that I ought to occupy the time of the House much longer. I
have covered only a few of the topics open to me, and most of those are con-
cerned with the administration and welfare of the Army, rather than with its
fighting efficiency. I have said little about the equipment of the Forces for over-
seas, which has now reached a very high degree of fulfillment. I have said
nothing about their training, which is working up to the climax for which
everybody is waiting. I have said nothing about that vast Movements organiza-
tion which is charged with the work of assembling them and launching them
upon their appointed task. I have said nothing about the growth of airborne
forces and co-operation with the Air Force. My confidence is that what has
been and is being done in these spheres will best and most assuredly show itself
on the bodies of the enemy. This confidence is complete, and it rests upon the
faith that this Army, which came out of the great tribulation, is the best we
have ever had.
For too little is said in praise of the British soldier. Fortunately, there will
be many opportunities for repairing this neglect in the coming months. -The
National Savings Campaign of this year is to take the form of a salute to the
soldier and I shall seize every opportunity I can to pay verbal tribute to him;
but verbal tribute is not enough. There must be a recognition, on our part that
the soldier's great ordeal is still to come; we must determine, whatever the
temptation to ease our efforts, and however much we may wish to beguile our-
selves by looking to consolations and even rewards when the fighting is over,
that so long as the fighting lasts we will cheerfully undergo every sacrifice that
will lighten and support the soldier's sacrifices. The mood which now ought to
govern us is finely expressed in Drake's prayer on the morning of the attack on
Cadiz in 1587, in a general situation not altogether unlike that in which we
find ourselves today:
"O Lord God, when Thou givest to Thy servants to endeavour any great
matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of
the same until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory."
[House of Commons Debates]

Prime Minister
Broadcast, March 26, 1944

I hope you will not imagine that I am going to try to make you some
extraordinary pronouncement tonight and tell you exactly how all the problems
of mankind in war and peace are going to be solved. I only thought you would
like me to have a short talk with you about how we are getting on, and to thank
you for all the kindness with which you have treated me in spite of my many
It is a year almost to a day since I spoke to you on the broadcast here at home.
This has been a time of disappointments as well as successes, but there is no doubt
that the good news has far outweighed the bad, and that the progress of the United
Nations towards their goal has been solid, continual and growing quicker. The
long and terrible march which the rescuing powers are making is being accom-

British Speeches of the Day

polished stage by stage, and we can now say not only with hope, but with reason,
that we shall reach the end of our journey in good order, and that the tragedy
which threatened the whole world and might have put out all its lights and left
our children and descendants in darkness and bondage, perhaps for centuries-
that tragedy will not come to pass. He is a rash man who tries to prophesy when,
how or under what conditions victory will come; but come it will. That, at least,
is sure. It is also certain that unity of aims and action and singleness of purpose
among us all-Britons at home, Allies abroad-will make it come the sooner.

Worse Than Death
A year ago the Eighth Army, which had marched 1,500 miles across tl e desert
from Alamein, was in battle for the Mareth Line, and the First British Army and
the American Army were beating their way forward through Tunisia. We were
all confident of victory, but we did not know that in less than two months the
enemy would be driven with heavy slaughter from the African continent leaving
at one stroke 335,000 prisoners and dead in our hands. Since then the successful
campaign in Sicily brought about the fall of Mussolini and the heartfelt repudia-
tion by the Italian people of the Fascist creed.
Mussolini, indeed, escaped to eat the bread of affliction at Hitler's table, to
shoot his son-in-law, and to help the Germans wreak vengeance upon the Italian
masses whom he had professed to love, and over whom he had ruled for more
than twenty years. ,This fate and judgment more terrible than death has overtaken
the vainglorious dictator who stabbed France in the back and thought that his
crime had gained him the empire of the Mediterranean.
SThe conquest of Sicily and Naples brought in their train the surrender of Sar-
dinia and the liberation of Corsica-islands which had been expected to require for
themselves a serious expedition and a hard campaign.

One-Third of Italy
We now hold one-third of the mainland of Italy. Our progress has not been
as rapid or decisive as we had hoped, but I do not doubt that we shall be victors,
both at the Anzio bridgehead and on the main front to the southward, and that
Rome will be rescued.
Meanwhile, we have swept out of the struggle sixty-six Italian divisions, and
we are holding in Italy, for the most part in dose action, nearly twenty-five divi-
sions and a noteworthy part of the German Air Force, all of whom can bleed and
burn in the land of their former ally while other even more important events which
might require their presence are impending elsewhere.
We have been disappointed in the Aegean Sea and its many islands which we
have not yet succeeded in dominating. But these setbacks in the eastern Mediter-
ranean are offset, and more than offset, by the panic and frenzy which prevail in
Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria, by the continued activities of the Greek guer-
rillas and, above all, by the heroic struggles of the Partisans of Yugoslavia under
the leadership of Marshal Tito.
In the Near and Middle East we have certainly traveled a long way forward
from those autumn days of 1940 when we stood all alone; when Mussolini was
invading Egypt; when we were driven out of British Somaliland; when all Ethiopia
was in Italian chains; and when we wondered whether we could defend the Suez
Canal, the Nile valley, the Sudan and British East Africa. There is much still to be
done in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean, but here again I do not doubt
that the task will be finished in a workmanlike manner.

War Overseas: Reconstruction at Home

We who dwell in the British Isles must celebrate with joy and thankfulness
our deliverance from the mortal U-boat peril-which deliverance lighted the year
which has ended.

Deliverance from Dangers
When I look back upon the fifty-five months of this hard and obstinate war,
which makes ever more exacting demands upon our life-springs of energy and con-
trivance, I still rate highest among the dangers we have overcome the U-boat
attack upon our shipping, without which we cannot live, or even receive the help
which our Dominions and our grand, generous American Ally have sent us.
But there are other deliverances which we should never forget. There was the
sea-mining peril which loomed so large in 1939 and which has been mastered by
superior science and ingenuity, and by the often forgotten but almost unsurpassed
devotion to duty of our minesweeper crews and the thousand ships they work and
man that we may eat and live and thus fight for the good cause.
We have been delivered from the horrors of an invasion at a time when we
were almost unarmed. We have endured without swerving or failing the utmost
fury which Hitler could cast upon us from the air, and now the tables are turned
and those who sought to destroy their enemies by the most fearful form of warfare
are themselves reeling and'writhing under the prodigious blows of British and
American air power.
We had ourselves a large air force in this island this time last year; we have a
larger one today. But besides all that, our American Allies have now definitely
overtaken and outnumbered us in the mighty air force they have established here.
The combination in true brotherhood of these two air forces, either of which is
nearly as large in numbers and in power much greater than the whole air force of
-Germany, aided as it will be by another Allied air force in Italy almost as large
which is now established there-these together will produce results in these com-
ing months which I shall not attempt to measure in advance, but which will cer-
tainly be of enormous advantage to the cause of the Allies.
Not only have the British and Americans this great preponderance in numbers,
which enables them to send out a thousand bombers as often as the enemy is able
to send out a hundred against us, but also, by sharing all our secrets with one
another, we have won the leadership in the marvels of Radar, both for attack and

Greatest Contribution Russia's
Surveying these famous and massive events-by land, sea and air-in the war
waged by the two western Allies-Britain and the United States-against Hitler-
ism, we are entitled, nay bound, to be encouraged, to be thankful, and to resolve
to do better than we have ever done before. It would be quite natural if our
Soviet friends and allies did not appreciate the complications and difficulties which
attend all sea crossings-"amphibious" is the word-operations on a large scale.
They are the people of the great land spaces, and when foes threaten the sacred
soil of Russia, it is by land they march out to meet and attack them. Now our
tasks are different. But the British and American people are filled with genuine
admiration for the military triumphs of the Russian Army. I have paid repeated
tributes to their splendid deeds, and now I must tell you that the advance of their
armies from Stalingrad to the Dniester River, with vanguards reaching out to-
wards the Prut-a distance of 900 miles accomplished in a single year-constitutes
the greatest cause of Hitler's undoing.

British Speeches of the Day

Since I spoke to you last not only have the Hun invaders been driven from the
land they had ravaged, but the guts of the Germany Army have been largely torn
out by Russian valor and generalship. The peoples of all the Russias have been
fortunate in finding in their supreme ordeal of agony a warrior leader, Marshal
Stalin, whose authority enables him to combine and control the movements of
armies numbered by many millions upon a front of nearly 2,000 miles, and to
impart a unity and a concept to the war direction in the east which has been very
good for Soviet Russia, and very good for all her Allies.
When a moment ago I spoke of the improvements for the Allied case which
are taking place in Hungary, and in the satellites in the Balkans, I was reserving
the acknowledgment that the victorious advance of the Soviet Army had been the
main cause of Hitler's approaching downfall in those regions. I have now dealt
with the progress of the war against Hitlerite Germany, but I must also speak of
the other gigantic war which is proceeding against the equally barbarous and brutal

United States' and Dominions' Share
This war is waged in vast preponderance by the fleets, air forces and armies of
the United States. We have accepted their leadership in the Pacific Ocean just as
they have accepted our leadership in the Indian theater, We are proud of the con-
tribution made by Australia and New Zealand against Japan. The debt which the
British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations owes to the United States for the
fact that their operations against the Japanese shielded Australia and New Zealand
from Japanese aggression and from mortal peril during a period when the mother
country was at full stretch in the struggle, against Germany and Italy, that debt is
one that will never be forgotten in any land where the Union Jack is flown.
Remarkable success has attended the work of the American Navy and of the
American, Australian and New Zealand troops. The progress in New Guinea is
constant. The American victories in the Pacific, and in particular their latest con-
quest and liberation of the Marshall Islands, constitute superb examples of the
combination of naval, air and military force. It is possible that the war in the
Pacific may progress more rapidly than was formerly thought possible. The Japa-
nese are showing signs of growing weakness. The attrition of their shipping-
especially their oil tankers-and of their air forces, on all of which President
Roosevelt dwelt with sure foresight a year ago, has become not merely evident
but obvious.
The Japanese have not felt strong enough to risk their fleet in a general en-
gagement for the sake of their outer defense line. In this they have been prudent,
considering the immense expansion of the Unitd States naval power since the
Japanese treacherous assault on Pearl Harbor. What fools the Japanese ruling
caste were to bring against themselves the mighty latent war energies of the great
Republic, all for the sake of carrying out a base and squalid ambuscade.

Operations in Burma
The British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations have pledged themselves
to fight side by side with the United States against Japan no matter what it costs
or how long it lasts. Actually, we have suffered from the Japanese injuries even
greater than those which have roused the armed wrath of the American Union. In
our theater of war, in Burma and the Bay of Bengal, we shall strive our utmost to
aid the Americans in their contacts with China, and to add to our own. The more
we can fight and engage the Japanese, and especially wear down their air power,

War Overseas: Reconstruction at Home

the greater a diversion we make for the Pacific theater and the more help we give
the operations of the United States.
In Burma those plans which were prepared last August at Quebec, are now be-
ing put into practice. Young men are at the helm. Admiral Mountbatten has in-
fused a spirit of energy and confidence into the heavy forces gathered to recover
Burma, and by that means to defend the frontiers of India and reopen the road to
China. Our airborne operations enable us to attack the Japanese in the rear. They,
for their part, have also got behind our front by infiltration at various places, and
fierce fighting is going on at many points. It is too soon to proclaim results in this
vast area of mountain and jungle, but in nearly every combat we are able to count
three or four times more Japanese dead-and that is what matters-than we have
ourselves suffered in killed, wounded and missing.
Individual fighting superiority in the jungle has definitely passed to the British
and Indian soldiers as compared with the Japanese. Farther to the north, an Amer-
ican column of experienced jungle fighters and a considerable Chinese Army under
General Stilwell of the United States Service, are progressing with equal mastery.
Later on I shall make to you or to Parliament a further report on all this hard
fighting which, mind you, is not by any means decided yet. Meanwhile, we have
placed a powerful battle fleet under Admiral Somerville in Indian waters in order
to face the main part of the Japanese Fleet, should it turn westward after having
declined battle against the Americans.
When I spoke a year ago, I drew attention to the possibility that there would
be a long interval between the collapse of Hitler and the downfall of Japan. I still
think there will be an interval, but I do not consider it will necessarily be as long
an interval as I thought a year ago. But be it long or be it short, we shall go
through with our American brothers with our utmost strength to the very end.

The Domestic Scene
I have now tried to carry you-as if in a Mosquito aircraft on reconnoitering
duty-over the world-wide expanse of this fell and ferocious war, and I trust
you have gained not only some glimpse of particular scenes but also have a feeling
of the relative size and urgency of the various things that are going on.
There are, as you see, quite a lot of things going on. Still, I remember that
when I spoke to you on March 21 of last year I gave up the main part of what I
said to what we are planning to do to make our island a better place for all its
people after the war was over, whenever that should be. I told you there would
have to be a general election and a new House of Commons, and that if I were
still thought fit to be any further use I should put to the country a Four Years'
Plan to cover the transition period between war and peace, and to bring the sol-
diers and sailors and airmen back to a land where there would be food and work
and homes for all. I dwelt on how wrong it would be to make promises which
could not be fulfilled, and for one set of politicians to try to outbid another in
visionary scheming and dreaming. But I mentioned five or six large fields in
which practical action would have to be taken. Let me remind you of them: reform
on a great scale of the education of the people; a nation-wide uplifting of their
physical health.
I spoke of the encouragement of agriculture and food production and the
vigorous revival of healthy village life. I dwelt upon the importance of a national
compulsory insurance scheme for all classes, for all purposes, from the cradle to
the grave, and of a sound scheme of demobilization which would not delay the
rebuilding of industry, and not seem unfair to the fighting men.

British Speeches of the Day

I spoke about the maintenance of full employment, and about the rebuilding
of our cities and the housing of the people, and I made a few tentative suggestions
about economic and financial policy-and what one may well call the importance
of making both ends meet.
All this was to happen after the war was over. No promises were to be made
beforehand; but every preparation that was possible without \impeding the war
effort, including legislative preparation, was to be set on foot.

Three Important Measures
Now, my friends, as your unfailing kindness encourages me to call you---I am
a man who has no unsatisfied ambitions-except to beat the enemy and help you in
any way I think right-and therefore I hope you will not suppose that in what I am
going to say to you I am looking for votes or trying to glorify this party or that.
But I do feel I may draw your attention to the fact that several of these large
measures, which a year ago I told you might be accomplished after the war was
over, have already been shaped and framed and presented to Parliament and the
For instance, you have the greatest scheme of improved education that has ever
been attempted by a responsible government. This will soon be on the Statute
Book. It involves a heavy cost upon the State, but I do not think we can maintain
our position in the post-war world unless we are an exceptionally well-educated
people and unless we can handle easily and with comprehension the problems and
inventions of the new scientific age.
Then there is the very far-reaching policy of a National Health Service, which
has already been laid before Parliament in outline, and has received a considerable
measure of acceptance. Before this session is out we shall lay before you our pro-
posals about the extensions of national insurance, upon which a vast amount of
patient work has been done.
So here you have-or will have very shortly-three of the important measures
which I thought would be put off till after the war, already fashioned and pro-
claimed at a time when no one can tell when the war will end. And all this has
been done without relaxing the war effort or causing any party strife to mar the
national unity.
But there are several other large problems upon which Ministers and their
assistants have toiled and wrought, which are far advanced. And, indeed, if this
process continues, and the war goes on long enough, the greater part of my Four
Years' Plan of a year ago may well be perfected and largely in operation before we
reach the General Election, and give the people the chance to say what the) think
about it.
Now I must say that one might have expected that His Majesty's Government
would receive many compliments upon the remarkable progress we have made, not
only with the war, but with the preparations for social and domestic welfare at the
armistice or peace. Last October I thought the time had come to ask the King to
appoint Lord Woolton to be Minister of Reconstruction with a seat in the War
Cabinet. His was a record which rightly commanded respect. However, there is
a large number of respectable and even eminent people who are not at all burdened
with responsibility, who have a lot of leisure on their hands, and who feel most
sincerely that the best work they can do at this present time of hard effort and
anxiety is to belabor the Government with criticism, and condemn them as un-
profitable servants because they are not, in the midst of this deadly struggle, ready at
any moment to produce foolproof solutions for the whole future of the world, as

War Overseas: Reconstruction at Home

between nation and nation, as between victors and vanquished, as between man
and man, as between capital and labor, as between the State and the individual-
and so forth and so on.
The harshest language is used, and this National Government which has led
the Nation and the Empire, and, as I hold, a large part of the world, out of
mortal danger, through the dark valleys into which they had wandered, largely
through their own folly, back onto the broad uplands where the stars of peace and
freedom shine, is reviled as a set of dawdlers and muddlers, unable to frame a
policy, take a decision, or make a plan and act upon it. I know you around your
firesides will not forget that this administration, formed in the hour of disaster by
the leaders of the Conservative, Labor and Liberal parties banded together in good
faith and good will, have brought the British Isles and the British Commonwealth
and Empire out of the jaws of death, back from the mouth of hell, while all the
world wondered. I know you will not forget that.

Housing Three Approaches
There are two subjects of domestic policy mentioned last year on which we have
not yet produced an account of our course of action. The first is housing. We set
before ourselves as a prime responsibility the provision of homes for all who need
them, with priority for our Servicemen as and when they come home from the war.
Let me first of all lay down this absolute rule: nothing can or must be done in
housing or rehousing which, by weakening or clogging the war effort, prolongs
the war. Neither labor npr material can be diverted in any way which hampers
the vast operations which are in progress or impending. Subject to that, there are
three ways in which the business of housing and rehousing the people should be
attacked. Let me tell you about them.
Now, I do not take the view myself that we were a nation of slum dwellers
before the war. Nearly 5,000,000 new approved houses or dwellings were built
out of about 11,000,000 in this small island between the two wars, and the British
people as a whole were better housed than almost any people on the Continent of
Europe, or, I would add, in many parts of the United States of America.
But now about 1,000,000 homes have been destroyed or grievously damaged
by the fire of the enemy. This offers a magnificent opportunity for rebuilding and
replanning, and while we are at it we had better make a clean sweep of all those
areas of which our civilization should be ashamed.
However, I have given my word that, so far as it may lie in my power, the
soldiers, when they return from the war, and those who have been bombed out and
made to double up with other families, shall be restored to homes of their own at
the earliest possible moment. The first attack must evidently be made upon houses
which are damaged, but which can be re-conditioned into proper dwellings. This
must go forward during the war, and we hope to have broken the back of it during
this year. It is a war measure, for our Allies are here among us in vast numbers
and we must do our best for them.

Prefabrication for the Emergency
The second attack on the housing problem will be made by what I call the pre-
fabricated or emergency housing. On this the Minister of Works, Lord Portal, is
working wonders. I hope we may make up to half a million of these, and for this
purpose not only plans but actual preparations are being made during the war on a
nation-wide scale. Factories are being assigned, the necessary set-up is being made
ready, materials are being ear-marked as far as possible, the most convenient sites
will be chosen-the whole business is to be treated as a military evolution, handled

British Speeches of the Day

by the Government with private industry harnessed to its service. And I have
every hope and a firm resolve that several hundred thousand of our young men
will be able to marry several hundred thousand of our young women and make
their own four years' plan.
Now what about these emergency houses? I've seen the full-sized model my-
self; and steps are being taken to make sure that a good number of housewives
have a chance of expressing their views about it. These houses will make a heavy
demand upon the steel industry, and will absorb in a great measure its overflow
and expansion for war purposes. They are, in my opinion, far superior to the
ordinary cottage as it exists today. Not only have they excellent baths, gas or
electric kitchenettes, and refrigerators, but their walls carry fitted furniture--chests
of drawers, hanging cupboards and tables, which today it would cost 80 [about
$320] to buy. Moreover, for the rest of the furniture, standard articles will be
provided and mass produced, so that no heavy capital charge will fall upon the
young couples, or others who may become tenants of the houses. Owing to the
methods of mass production which will be used, I am assured that these houses,
including the 80 worth of fitted furniture, will be available at a very moderate
All these emergency houses will be publicly owned, and it will not rest with
any individual tenant to keep them in being after they have served their purpose
of tiding over the return of the fighting men, and after permanent dwellings are
As, much thought has been and will be put into this plan as was put into the
invasion of Africa, though I readily admit that it does not bear comparison in
scale with the kind of things we are working at now. The swift production of
these temporary houses is the only way in which the immediate needs of our people
can be met in the four and five years that follow the war.
In addition to this, and to the re-conditioning of the damaged dwellings, we
have the program of permanent rebuilding which the Minister of Health, Mr.
Willink, has recently outlined, and by which we shall have 200,000 or 300,000
permanent houses built or building by the end of the first two years after the de-
feat of Germany. For these, 200,000 sites are already owned by the local authorities.
Side by side with this comes the question of employment of the building trade.
We do not want a frantic splurge of building, to be followed by a sharp contrac-
tion of the trade. I have a sympathy with the building trade and with the brick-
layers. They are apt to be the first to be taken for the wars, and in time of peace
they all know as they work at their job that when it is finished they may have to
look for another. If we are to secure the best results, it will be necessary that our
twelve years' plan for the building trade, on which Mr. Bevin and Lord Portal
have spent so much time, is a plan which will guarantee steady employment for
long periods, and increased reward for increased efforts or superior skill; it will be
necessary to see that that plan is carried out.
Ceiling Prices for Land
Then we are told by the busy wiseacres: "How can you build houses without
the land to put them on? When are you going to tell us your plans for this?"
But we have already declared in 1941 that all land needed for public purposes
shall be taken at prices based on the standards of values of March 31, 1939. This
was a formidable decision of State policy which selected property and land for a
special restrictive imposition. Whereas stocks and shares and many classes of real
property have gone up in value during the war, and when agricultural land, on
account of the new proposals and new prospects open to farmers, has also risen in

War Overseas: Reconstruction at Home

value, the State has the power, which it will on no account surrender, to claim all
land needed bona fide for war industry or for public purposes at values fixed be-
fore wartime conditions supervened.
There are certain hard cases which will best be adjusted by parliamentary de-
bate, but in the main you may be sure that ample land will be forthcoming, when
and where it is needed, for all the houses, temporary or permanent, required to
house our people far better than they have ever been housed before. Nobody need
be deterred from planning for the future, by the fear that they may not be able to
obtain the necessary land.
Legislation to enable the local authorities to secure any land required for the
reconstruction of our towns has been promised, and will be presented to Parliament
this session.
There are some comfortable people, of course, who want to put off everything
until they have planned and got agreed to in every feature, a White Paper or a
blueprint, for the regeneration of the world, before, of course, asking the electors
how they feel about it. These people would rather postpone building homes for the
returning troops until we had planned out every acre in the country to make sure
the landscape is not spoiled. In time of war we have to face immediate needs and
stern realities, and it surely is better to do that than to do nothing whilst preparing
to do everything. Here is my difficulty; I put it frankly before you. I cannot take
anything that will hinder the war, and no one-except the very clever ones-can
tell when the war will end, or whether it will end suddenly or peter out. There-
fore there must be an emergency plan, and that is what the Ministers concerned
have been working at for sometime past. But in spite of this, and of all I've said,
I cannot guarantee that everything will be perfect, or that if the end of the war
came suddenly, as it might do, th&re will not be an interval when things will be
pretty rough; but it will not be a long interval, and, it will be child's play compared
to what we have already gone through. Nor need we be frightened about the scale
of this task. It looks to me a small one-this housing-compared to some of those
we have handled, and are handling now. The value of the land involved is be-
tween one-twentieth and one-thirtieth of the cost of the houses to be built upon it.
And our population itself is unhappily about to enter upon a period of decline-
numerical decline-which can only be checked by the most robust treatment of
housing and of all its ancillaries.

Problems of Demobilization
There is one other question on which I should like to dwell tonight, but for a
reason which I shall mention later, I only intend to utter a passing reassurance. I
mean demobilization. Now I know as much about this as most people, because I
was Secretary of State for War and Air at the time of the great demobilization
after the last war, when in about six months we brought home from abroad, re-
leased from military service and restored to their families, nearly 3,000,000 men.
Great plans had been prepared before the Armistice by the planners to bring home
all the key men first, and any soldier who could get a telegram from someone at
home saying that he was wanted for a key job had priority over the may who had
borne the burden and heat of the war. The troops did not think this was fair,
and by the time I went to the War Office a convulsion of indiscipline shook the
whole of our splendid army which had endured unmoved all danger, slaughter and
privation. I persuaded the Cabinet to reverse this foolish and inequitable plan and
to substitute the simple rule, first out, first home, with the result that discipline was
immediately restored, and the process of demobilization went forward in a smooth
and orderly fashion.

British Speeches of the Day

Now my friend, Mr. Bevin, the Minister of Labour, for whose deep sagacity
and knowledge of the wage-earning masses I have high admiration-Mr. Bevin has
devised a very much less crude, but equally fair and healthy scheme, in which I
have the greatest confidence-in which all concerned may have the greatest con-
fidence. Why am I not going to tell you all about it tonight? Or why will Mr.
Bevin not tell you about it in the near future? Here is the reason. This is no
time to talk about demobilization.
The hour of our greatest effort and action is approaching. We march with
valiant allies who count on us as we count on them. The flashing eyes of all our
soldiers, sailors and airmen must be fixed upon the enemy on their front. The
only homeward road for all of'us lies through the arch of victory. The magnificent
armies of the United States are here, or are pouring in. Our own troops, the best
trained and best equipped we have ever had, stand at their side in equal numbers
and in true comradeship. Leaders are appointed in whom we all have faith. We
shall require from our own people here, from Parliament, from the Press, from all
classes, the same cool, strong nerves, the same toughness of fiber, which stood us
in good stead in those days when we were all alone under the German blitz. And
here I must warn you that in order to deceive and baffle the enemy as well as to
exercise the Forces, there will be many false alarms, many feints and many dress
rehearsals. We may also ourselves be the object of new forms of attack from the
enemy. Britain can take it. She has never flinched or failed, and when the signal
is given the whole circle of avenging nations will hurl themselves upon the foe,
and batter out the life of the cruelest tyranny which has ever sought to bar the
progress of mankind.
progress of mankind. [By Electrical Transcription]

Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
Sheffield, March 3, 1944
For the people of Britain this is a unique period of the war. It is like no other
in the particular kind of hidden tension that we are experiencing.
In 1940, there was tension. We were all anticipating the possibility of inva-
sion and a life-and-death struggle for the whole future of our country. But in
1940, though we were ready for the worst, we had no picture of what was in store
for us. The news of the fall of Western Europe was too recent and sudden to have
sunk into our minds in all its detail as something that could happen to us.
Now we look forward again, but this time we look forward not to invasion but
to exvasion, and we look forward not to an unspecified future but to the prospect
of a great military operation whose general nature we understand very well Now
we look f6rward-and we see.
We look forward not in the first flush of warlike spirit; not with the last-ditch
exhilaration of 1940; but with the cold, unshakable resolution of a people which
has stood over four and a half years of war. ..

Renewed War on London
The ordinary British soldier in all wars has won historic reputation for his
ability to hang on-as he has done for the past four years-and then, when the

London's New Blitz

enemy has exhausted himself or been worn down, to leap to the attack with full
force. That is exactly the quality that the British people in its own way, and play-
ing its own role, is now showing itself to possess. It is a strong finisher ....
We have lately been reminded that to the civilians the war of 1944 can bring
more kinds of ordeal than one. We have been reminded that it is not only the
soldiers who have to face fire and steel ....
Although the intense air war on Britain was confined to a period of nine
months, that was long enough and intense enough to cause casualties that still loom
large among the total which the war has brought to our country. The latest official
figures for the three Armed Services for the first three years of the war show 73,477
killed, 152,204'missing and prisoners of war, and 50,163 wounded. In the Italian
campaign alone the Army's figures are 7,635 killed, 5,708 missing, and 23,283
wounded. The total of bombing casualties among civilians is 50,324 killed and
163,075 injured.
So Britain knows all about air raids. These recent raids on London, though
they are not comparable with the Luftwaffe's worst performances in 1940-41, have
been quite bad enough, and there have been some few episodes comparable with
the worst single incidents of the big blitzes ....
Some of the methods which the Germans have used in the effort to reach their
target and evade our counter-attack have been methods learned from us. One
notable instance is the dropping of metalled strips to confuse the enemy's detection
devices. These methods were developed for the benefit of the R.A.F. some time
ago. We knew that the Germans-always ready to pick up other people's bright
ideas-would very likely use them against us in our turn. But that did not stop our
use of them. For one thing, in proportion as our attacks are greater than the Ger-
mans' so these methods in our hands are worth more than they can be to the Ger-
mans: they save more of our bombers than they can of the Luftwaffe-and they
have saved very many of our bombers and their precious crews. For another thing,
we have confidence in the ability of British scientists, so often demonstrated, to
find the answers to the problems that the enemy from time to time puts to us.
For the time being Londoners have had to stick it-and of course they have
stuck it. You in the north, before the war, had an idea that the importance of the
Capital was perhaps a bit exaggerated, and that the people of the north were rather
a superior breed. As a Londoner I know your point of view. But I know, too,
that you watched with genuine admiration and sympathy the people of the capital
taking, in 1940-41, a knocking-about that was on the whole worse and lasted longer
than any of your cities had to endure in this part of the world. I think perhaps you
have thought better of London and Londoners since that time; anyway, Londoners
think you have, and the feeling that they had the respect and comradeship of the
north helped them in the big blitzes just as it helps them now.

The Blitz and the Second Front
There are two things that help to sustain Londoners under their latest ordeal.
One is that they know that the bombing of their city is related to the Second Front.
It is an odd kind of relationship and not a very direct one. Of course it's all non-
sense for Goebbels and other German commentators to suggest that the sort of
thing the Luftwaffe has been doing to London, nasty though it is, can have any
effect on military operations. The fact that the Germans talk that way is simply a
measure of the greatness of their need to lie to their own people.
But the bombing has another kind of relationship to the Second Front. It uses
up planes that the German military authorities would no doubt be'very glad to

British Speeches of the Day

keep for counter-measures against our own Fighting Forces when the time comes.
Germany hasn't got so many planes of any kind that she can afford to have good
bombers brought down in attacks on civilian objectives. Every one of the planes
destroyed and damaged-and there have been quite enough of them one way or
another to make a difference-is off the list of those that can be launched against
our boys within the next few months. Londoners know that in that way they are
helping to take the strain off our Fighting Forces. And that is a very comforting
and invigorating thought.

Improved Civil Defense
The other thing that helps is the technical improvement in the* Civil Defense
Forces which experience and the passage of time have brought. In one sense we
were magnificently well prepared in 1940, considering that nobody could really do
more than guess at the forms the attack would take and what its results would be
like. But inevitably Civil Defense suffered from this ignorance, and we had a good
many surprises in detail. Now Civil Defense has had a time of intensive training
based on definite knowledge of the problems that will have to be faced. It has
given up a large fraction of its personnel and given them up gladly, for it knows
that whether in production or the Forces, they have gone over from defense to
attack and that is what we all want. Their loss has been made good by economies
of method-like the mobile regional columns which move from a central point to
wherever they may be needed; by intensive training (including the work of the
new Training Schools); by the nation-wide organization of the National Fire
Service with its tremendous technical improvement as compared with the old local
brigades; and by the work of the Fire Guard which is now a really effective first
line defense against the greatest of all menaces from the air, the menace of wide
devastation by fire.
These largely new instruments are ready in the hands of the people of London
as I know they are in the hands of the people of any other city that may be
attacked. ...
We talk about the Second Front. It is a name, and no one need object to it so
long as it does not make us forget that it is only a name and not an accurate
description. We have a great front in Burma, and the Empire has another in the
South Pacific. We have big Forces in the Middle East and a Navy that with our
American and other Allies guards all the oceans.
Even in Europe to speak of a Second Front is not accurate. We are already
fighting a difficult campaign in Italy and wearing the enemy down with powerful
effect. We have put into the creation and operation of our Air Force a tremendous
proportiort of our national resources of productive power and wealth-a proportion
that is justified only by the tremendous, and it may well be decisive, damage that
our bombers are doing to the German war-making power. It is not always realized
that we could man and equip even larger armies had we not put a great proportion
of our manpower into building, maintaining, equipping and flying that terrific
instrument of victory, the R.A.F.
Remembering all this, I confess I am astonished every time I think over the im-
plications of the fact that the Prime Minister has recently given to the country--the
fact that the Forces that will make the first attack upon German Europe will be half
of them British. When you consider the relative size and commitments of ourselves
and our Allies, this is an achievement in which we and our children after us can
take full and- legitimate pride.

Planning Production

Some time in the future the great attack will be launched. We are striking a
blow which we are all convinced will lead sooner or later to the liberation of
Europe from the worst tyranny that has ever afflicted it, and the liberation of the
world from the threatened horror of Nazi domination.
[Official Release]

Minister of Production
To the British Press, March 9, 1944
We have come through over four years of war. During those years there
have been as many changes in the factories as there have been on the battle-
fronts. ..
In the first year of the war, our problem was to convert industry wholesale
from a peace to a war-time footing, and to put in hand that vast program of
expansion required to meet the needs of the Armed Forces for equipment of all
types. It was the year of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. It was a year of
excessively long hours in factories, when managers and workers stayed at desks
and benches without thought of self and with only one ambition-to produce
aircraft, tanks and guns which would keep the invader from our shores
In 1941, we were faced with a new problem. Retooling of industry and
construction of new factories--or extension of existing factories-went on, but
bombing was a constant menace to production. We had not only to put in hand
measures for the immediate repair of air-raid damage so as to get production
going again as quickly as possible, but we had also to undertake the vast pro-
gram for the dispersal of factories which proved so effective in minimizing the
effects of the bombing.
By 1942, the first fruits of hard work had begun to appear. Temporary dis-
location of production due to dispersals was rapidly overcome, more new factories
came into production, while others reached the peak. By the end of the year, I
was able to announce that the capital equipment of the Armed Forces, particularly
the Army, was virtually complete.
1943, therefore, presented yet another set of problems. The strategic initiative
had passed into our hands, and with it the power to select the weapons with
which to strike and the places in which to use them. Whereas in the first three
years of the war the urgent need was to produce the maximum quantity of all
classes of weapons and equipment in the quickest possible time, in 1943 we were
able to start rearranging production programs so as to concentrate our efforts
upon new weapons and types of equipment capable of bringing the maximum
striking power against the enemy.
Now we are in another year, and again it has special problems and difficulties.
Maximum production will be as urgent as ever-in many directions, indeed, there
will be a new urgency about war production because it will be directly linked
with operations in the field-but some new and most difficult problems will have
to be surmounted and overcome. But before I come to deal with this, let us
look momentarily at the results we have achieved to date.

British Speeches of the Day

Production Results to End of 1943
Since this island is a base for Allied operations, and no factory, store or
depot in the United Kingdom is outside the range of German bombers, :t would
obviously not be in the public interest to publish complete statistics of the
war production of this country. There can, however, be no harm, and it will
certainly give no comfort to the enemy, if I make public first a few actual figures
to illustrate the magnitude of the war production of this country.
From the beginning of the war to the end of 1943, we have made for the
Army alone 83,000 tanks, armored cars and carriers; over .115,000 guns of caliber
larger than 20 milimeters; 150,000,000 rounds of gun ammunition nearly
5,500,000 machine-guns, rifles, submachine-guns and automatic pistols nearly
7,000,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition.
SIn addition, we have produced hundreds of thousands of 40 and 20 milimeter
cannon-guns and machine-guns for aircraft, guns of all calibers from .5 to 16 inch
for the Navy, and very large quantities of the necessary ammunition.
We have manufactured over 1,000,000 wheeled vehicles of unarmored types
for war purposes of every kind.
We have produced just over 90,000 aircraft of all types, by far the greater
part of which consisted of combat types. Just over four-fifths of all the aircraft
we are now producing are combat planes-bombers, fighters and naval recon-
naissance planes-the balance being made up of transports, trainers and target
aircraft. When it is remembered how large a proportion of the output has been
heavy bombers, each of which is equivalent in terms of manpower to four fighters
and four primary trainers, it will be realized that the operational value of our
production is far greater than figures alone reveal.
As a result we have been able to provide over three-quarters of the total
structure-weight of new aircraft delivered to the R.A.F. and Fleet Air Arm in
1943 from production in this country. Six per cent came from the rest of the
British Commonwealth, while 18 per cent came from production in the United
* Our naval construction has also been on a massive scale. At the end or 1943,
our naval strength was greater than at the beginning of the war in most types
of vessels, the total construction being over-sufficient to replace losses sustained,
particularly in the earlier years. While the United States, in addition to its great
naval program, carried the main responsibility of building the merchant shipping
required by the United Nations, we have concentrated our efforts on naval work,
and about 70 per cent of our total effort in new construction is devoted to this.
In addition, a large proportion of the labor employed in this country on repairs
and conversions has been contributing to naval strength by making merchant
ships available for operational use.
Our own vast production has been helped and supplemented by supplies of
war materials of all kinds from the United States, and while we may legitimately
take pride in the achievement of the British Commonwealth, we shall neve- cease
to be grateful for the contribution of our American friends.
While the figures I quoted are in themselves some indication of the magni-
tude of our production, there is a more important aspect even than the figures
themselves. The 1943 emphasis of production has been shifted more and more
in accordance with strategic needs to the newest types of aircraft, weapons and
devices of every kind. Our growing mastery of the U-boat has been due largely
to the use of new secret devices.

Planning Production

Equally, our recent successes in the Battle of Berlin have been due not only
to the growing strength of our bomber fleets, but greatly to amazing secret devices
enabling bombers to go out in all types of weather and hit their targets with
Similarly, in the sphere of ground equipment, we have been able to announce
during the year the introduction of the 17-pounder anti-tank gun, the Piat anti-
tank projector, and a new explosive known as RDX; but there are many other
new weapons and devices which we shall not make public until the enemy has
felt their full force. British scientists and designers remain second to none.

Progress of Program: Changes in 1943
Production in 1943 over the whole field of munitions was at the highest
level yet reached, despite the inevitable, though temporary, holdups caused by
transfers from one type of production to another, and the many change-overs-
particularly in the aircraft industry-required to meet the strategic needs of the
Armed Forces. ...
This great rearrangement of our manpower has been a remarkable achievement.
I would like to pay tribute now to the hard work and careful planning done
by the Ministry of Labour, Supply Department, and the various regional organ-
izations besides, and the fine spirit of cooperation shown by managements, workers,
Trade Union leaders and joint production committees.
But while we may take pride in an achievement of this magnitude, I fully
recognize the great difficulties and, in some cases, the hardships which these
transfers have meant to individual workers and managements of businesses.

Production Problems in 1944
What are the special problems we have to face and overcome? What are the
targets that we must set ourselves?
The outstanding problem of 1944, which distinguishes it from all preceding
years, is that we have got to maintain the present high-production level and in
some directions increase it, despite the necessity of calling up men in munitions
and other industries who have previously been deferred, in order to meet the
needs of the Armed Forces, Merchant Navy and essential services like coal min-
ing, transport and public utilities. There is no longer, as in previous years, any
untapped manpower resources on which to draw, and it is therefore only by
withdrawing manpower from munitions industries (and, to a small extent, from
civilian industries because they are already cut to the bone) that we can meet
these additional requirements.
But despite these withdrawals of manpower, there must be no let-up in pro-
duction. There are many specialized requirements-new weapons, special inva-
sion equipment, secret devices and equipment-that are of the highest urgency.
Production of these must still further be increased, and it is vital that deliveries
should be made on time. . .
Another special feature of 1944 will be that, as military operations proceed,
new and ever more urgent requirements are almost certain to arise. As each
phase of operations gives place to another, so new requirements will be called
for from the munitions industries. However carefully we have planned in advance
-and we have done so-new developments in the character of the military opera-
tions, new weapons in the enemy's hands, requiring counter-measures from us,
new inventions by ourselves; any or all of these may suddenly necessitate changes
in some part of our production. We must, therefore, be prepared for frequent,

British Speeches of the Day

sometimes sudden, adjustments of production throughout the munitions industries
to meet the changing phases of military operations.
There is one other complication which will need all our ingenuity and effort
to surmount. We shall this year be faced with an exceedingly difficult transport
situation. It needs no great stretch of the imagination to realize that we cannot
convert this country into a base and into lines of communication for extensive
military operations without considerable interference with normal transport ar-
rangements. We must, therefore, do everything in our power to lighten the load
on the transport system.
It is in the power of industry and the public to do even more than they have
already done to lighten this load so that essential military traffic can be carried
with minimum dislocation to production and to the normal life of the community.
The really important thing that industry can do is still further to shorten the time
taken to turn round freight cars at factories. Rapid clearing of freight cars should
be regarded as one of the first charges on firms and labor. I cannot emphasize
this over-strongly.
Allied to this problem is that of coal. The coal situation is serious, and re-
quirements will grow greater rather than less. The utmost economy in use of
fuel is one of the ways in which we can help to meet the situation, but it can
be done only if everybody engaged in industry makes fuel economy a matter of
urgent personal concern.

Nature of Production Changes in 1944
Further changes in production programs required to meet the strategic require-
ments of the Armed Forces will affect the individual supply ministries differently.
We' shall still be making further reductions in the production of ground
equipment for the Army. But while production of certain basic items of equipment
will be reduced, there is a considerable range of new weapons and equipment now
coming into mass production where increased output is essential. Special invasion
equipment, transport and engineers' stores are examples of these expanding require-
ments. There are also requirements for the Japanese war-mainly special devices
and equipment designed for tropical and jungle conditions-of which there must
be increased production.
Within the aircraft program there must also be changes to accord to strategical
needs. There must be increased production of certain types of bombers and fighters
of proved superiority, while those now less suited to the conditions to be met must
be reduced. ...
Naval construction will be in a rather different category. The present program
for the production of landing craft and landing ships is obviously of paramount
importance and must be pushed ahead with the utmost vigor. In addition to these
urgent and immediate requirements, there is a considerable program of building
for the longer-term needs of the war in the Pacific, and there is the ever-growing
volume of conversion and repair work. There will, therefore, be virtually no cuts
in the naval construction program. ...
We have given a great deal of thought to how these fresh changes can be made
with the least interference to the urgent tasks of industry. When we set out last
year to shift the emphasis of war production from army equipment towards building
up an immensely powerful bomber force, I said we would do everything in our
power to insure, as far as possible, that cuts would be made in districts where the
manpower released by those cuts could most readily be absorbed in industries where
production was still expanding.

What We Have in Common

I think the figures I have quoted are proof that we have been most successful
in this. We have indeed gone to considerable lengths to prevent new contracts
being brought into districts where the load of work was already such that all avail-
able local labor supplies had been exhausted; and we have been increasingly
successful in attracting new work to those less heavily loaded regions where the
labor shortage is less acute. ...

Challenge of 1944
1944 is, therefore, the year of challenge-a challenge to industry as great as that
thrown down after Dunkirk, to which it responded so magnificently. After meet-
ing the needs of the Armed Forces and the essential services, we shall have fewer
men and women in production; but, notwithstanding this, production must be
maintained and, in special weapons for the war, increased . .
Our fighting men will face great battles this year. We must see that our work
is worthy of them. [Official Release]
*Official Release]

British Ambassador to the United States
Boston Chamber of Commerce, March 14, 1944
This is not my first visit either to Boston or to its distinguished Chamber of
Commerce, and if I am here again, you have only yourselves to blame-for your
hospitality and for living in a city which, since the time of General Gage, has had
a fatal attraction for Englishmen!
I have only one serious complaint to make of the United States, and that is its
size. My opposite number in London, Mr. Winant, enjoys an unfair advantage.
In a few hours he can travel, as we would say in England, from Land's End to
John O'troats; but, if I want to travel across America, it takes me not hours but
days. Yet no British Ambassador can do his duty in times like these unless he gets
about this great country, sees something of its war effort, and rediscovers the faith,
resolution, and fighting spirit of the people of America.

The Other Side of the Hill
That is one reason why I am glad again to be in Boston. What a change has
come over the face of the war since I was here before in June, 1941! ...
Perhaps the greatest change of all is that the German people, who in 1941 had
no doubt of victory, can now no longer hope to avoid defeat. Wherever they turn,
to the Eastern front, to Italy, to the war in the air, or at sea, or in production, the
same grim fact stares them in the face. They are no longer better, bigger, stronger,
judged by all the tests of war, than anybody else; and that change means that their
chance of world conquest has gone forever. And this applies with equal force to
Japan, whose propaganda machine has had to work overtime on imaginary stories of
successes in recent months to discount the series of defeats imposed upon her arms.
You remember that the Duke of Wellington used to say that all the business of
war was "guessing what was at the other side of the hill." It may be well worth
our while trying to guess how in the light of these facts our enemies' minds may

52 British Speeches of the Day

now be working! I fancy that, if we could do this with those high up in control,
whether of Germany or Japan, we would find them, however unwillingly, accept-
ing the unpleasant fact of military failure.
The Germans would see the Russians dosing in on them from the east. They
would see an Anglo-American army drawing division after division from the Ger-
man reserves for the defense of Rome. Their cities are rocking, night and day,
under the hammer blows of Allied bombing. And even greater challenges will
come this year, making new and larger demands upon their manpower and
The Japanese would see Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur deploying
powerful Forces, which rapidly and remorselessly move forward, seizing one stra-
tegic point after another in the broad waters, beyond which lies Tokyo. But with
all this would go a hope-a real hope-that while all might be as good as lost
on the battle fronts, something might still be saved on the political front behind the
fighting line.
The rulers of Germany know well what the Allied victory will mean for them.
They have not merely to face the loss of positions they have degraded and power
they have abused. They have also to reckon with retribution for the crimes they
have committed against the peace of the world and for the atrocities they have
perpetrated on hundreds of thousands of perfectly innocent men, women and

Propaganda Offenpive
They will do their best to make the whole German people believe that we
intend to destroy them all, and will so hope to put off the evil day of their own
punishment. To save their own skins they will snatch at any chance, however
slender, which seems to offer the slightest prospect of escape. And if they can't
do this by military means, the only hope will be to open some sort of breach in
the front of the United Nations.
They will admit they have lost the war but will point to the casualties that it is
still in the German power to inflict, if we insist on fighting it through to the
bloody end. And they will ask our people what they expect to gain by that. You
cannot hope, it will be said, to exterminate seventy or eighty million Germans;
we have all got to live together somehow after this war; the whole world has had
a lesson it will never forget; why not make a reasonable peace now and save further
needless bloodshed? That is the sort of thing they will say; and that way--the way
of compromise peace-lies disaster. . .
You will be told that Britain is not carrying her proper share of effort and
sacrifice. We shall be told the same about you. We shall both be told that we
are only fighting to enable Russia to bolshevize Europe; and the Russians will be
/told that we are still leaving it to them to bear the brunt of the war.
The object here will be just the same; to induce us, after we have been so
poisoned by mutual suspicions, to agree together or separately to a compromise
peace, which will enable the Axis to start all over again preparing for a third
world war.
I am pretty certain that this, or something very like it, is already in the enemy's
mind. For, if you study what Axis propaganda is saying today to you and to us
and to our other Allies, you will find that the offensive has already started.
On January 24, a German broadcast told the Russians that we were all trying
to avoid doing any fighting, while the Soviet Union was sacrificing its citizens by

What We Have in Common

the million. At the same time, the Berlin radio was telling us in Britain that we
were crazy to think of trying to land in Europe, as we should lose countless lives
to no purpose, and that of course the whole design of invading Europe from the
west was dictated from Moscow. And for this Moscow-inspired design, "It is
Uncle Sam," so Berlin tells the United States, "who will have to furnish the nec-
essary cannon fodder."
And there is always the old but unfailing subject of Lepd-Lease. On January
19, Berlin reminded you that "under Lend-Lease American property is being given
away at the rate of a million dollars a month. Most of it is going to the British,
the Bolshies and the Chinese, all of whom are capable of turning against the United
States before this thing ends." But three days earlier, Berlin was telling Europe
that "the Lend-Lease Agreement is merely the means by which the U. S. A. seeks
domination. Its first and foremost victim is Britain."
I do not believe, as I have said, that if we are on our guard, we need be
afraid of this political offensive. But we have got to keep our eyes open and
recognize it for the organized sabotage of our united war effort that it is. And
I would like to say something about that side of it which affects you and us most
Out of all this fog and war, one fact emerges more and more plainly with every
month that passes. And that is the paramount need, both for victory and after
victory, that the United States and the British Commonwealth and Empire should
understand each other and get along together.

Dr. Fell
We talk about this a lot; some people, because they think it's all going to be
beautiful and easy; others, wiser people, because they know it's often going to be
quite difficult. And if ye are to get along, it has got to be a two-way traffic, in the
sense that it will matter a good deal what British people think of Americans, just
as it will matter a lot what American people think of us.
The other day an Englishman in Washington called a taxi and asked the driver
to take him somewhere quickly, as he said he was a bit behind on what he called
his schedule. When they got to their destination, the driver said: "You're Eng-
lish, aren't you?" "Yes," said the Englishman, "do you mind?" "I don't exactly
mind," said the driver, "but whenever I hear a man talk like that, I want to give
him a sock on the jaw."
That driver was no more and no less unreasonable than the young Englishman
who, shortly after reaching this country remarked: "I can't think why you Americans
always drive on the wrong side of the road."
Well, we may laugh but all the same it is just little things like this that often
make trouble. They are the bits of grit that drop into the works and prevent them
running smoothly.
I know there are some of your people who are anti-British. They don't like
us. They don't trust us. They want to have nothing to do with us. Maybe they
are still living in the days of your historic Tea Party, or in 1812, or in the bad
years of the Irish troubles. Or maybe they have got a totally wrong idea of our
society and institutions as they are today. Or maybe it is just the old story of-
"I do not love thee, Dr. Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr. Fell!"

British Speeches of the Day

There are people who feel like that here, just as there are those on our side who
don't like you. Such people probably don't want the two nations to work to-
gether-and certainly they do their best to prevent it! Well-we all know where
we are with them, on whichever side of the Atlantic they may be. But the bulk
of our peoples do want to make our partnership into something that may really
help the world, and are yet bothered by some of the things they 'hear.

A Common Interest
Sometimes they are bothered quite unnecessarily! We hear things said here,
or you read of things said in England, which sound tough, and with which you
or we may disagree. When that happens, there'll be people who will say that
something is anti-British or anti-American. But it isn't always so at all. What
some people mistake for anti-British is really pro-American; and what you might
think was anti-American is not anti-American but pro-British. And both you and
we have got a perfect right, and many of us should still say a duty, to stand up
for our own country first.
What neither country can be expected to like is that people in the other should
appear ready to put the worst, instead of the best, interpretation upon each other's
words and actions. You may sometimes feel sore that we in Britain judge unfairly
of something said or done in the United States. I have no doubt at times, we do;
but you will sometimes also find the same soreness on the British side.
Take some of the talk one hears about Lend-Lease, that we ought to be deeply
grateful to you, and are not making adequate return for all you've done. Of course
the British people are, and always will be, grateful for all the help you have given
under Lend-Lease, as they will never forget all you have done for the children you
took into your homes, and the help you sent, and are still sending, to our people
who have been bombed.
But they remember, too, that the Lend-Lease Act was most truly termed by its
authors "An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States," and that while you
were doing all that, they themselves were being bombed and killed and had the
whole German might concentrated on them only twenty miles away.
And if the British Commonwealth had not stood firm in 1940, when a good
many people thought we were down-and-out and perhaps not worth helping,
there'd be no Allied cause today and your freedom with ours would have disap-
peared. The British people, therefore, will never understand an argument designed
to prove that we are more indebted to you than you are to us over the whole field
of sacrifice, or believe that you can run a great cause on the strict basis of an
accounting firm. For there are human qualities and achievements which cannot'
be shown on any balance sheet.
After all, it doesn't matter a lot if an American-built bomber going over Ger-
many is manned by American boys, or has been handed over under Lend-Lease
and is manned by British boys. The only principle worth the name is that we all
give all we can, and that it is used where it will win the war most quickly, without
anybody worrying too much about who uses it. .
I am sure, therefore, that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by
being very frank with each other about these questions. And it is surely possible
to be frank without giving or taking offense. We shall not get very far by people
sitting round a table and only saying nice things, any more than we shall by people
standing on opposite sides of the street and only saying nasty things.

Britain's Export Trade

A Common Thought
If one foundation for our partnership must be the recognition of this common
interest, the other must be a common thought. At bottom, again, that is there
already; for if we have learned nothing else in these terrible times, surely at least
we have learned that when we get down to the basic things that matter most-what
is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong in the world-you and
we think alike.
We utterly reject the vile philosophies of Nazism and Japanese militarism. We
uphold and affirm the philosophy to which your society and ours alike are pledged.
This common thought is there. It must be the inspiration of all we may try to do
together. And it is not, please God, going to disappear when the war is over.
A common interest and a common thought-if we accept these as the master
truth, we can all take our share in making our association what it should be. We
can draw from it strength, not only to fortify the security and happiness of your
country and my own, but to bind up the wounds of a racked and tormented world.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for India and Burma
House of Lords, February 29, 1944
The principles which govern our current export policy were debated in another
place in July of last year, and I do not think there is a great deal that I can usefully
add, at the present moment, to that discussion. Today, as then, our primary object
is to win the war in the shortest possible time, and therefore everything must be
subordinated to that aim. Nevertheless I think that it is useful in any discussion
upon exports either current or future, to examine the practice which we have
followed in this country in the past, and followed, I venture to suggest, not without
some degree of success. For generations our export policy was not difficult to
appreciate, although it was more difficult to achieve. Generally, our object was to
sell as much of our manufactured products as possible abroad, so that we could
purchase our essential requirements from overseas. If anything occurred to hinder
or limit this operation, repercussions were immediately perceptible both here and
elsewhere, with results which are well known to my noble friend and to other
noble Lords.

The Pillars of Foreign Trade
Our export trade has always been dependent upon four things: raw materials,
machinery, shipping and manpower. If the working of any one of them was
interrupted, the others could obviously not function successfully. I hardly think
that my noble friend would quarrel with that very general description of our
policy in past years. Today, however, we find ourselves in a very different position.
Our resources in manpower, in raw materials and in shipping are all strictly
limited, and our manpower has been diverted from peace production to war
production. This has resulted in both our internal home markets and our export
trade being affected. The production of peacetime necessaries for civilian con-
sumption has already been cut to the very barest level, and that cut can be justified
only on grounds of our wartime needs. Correspondingly, in the field of capital
goods, mentioned by my noble friend, and especially of those capital goods which

British Speeches of the Day

require steel and other products so important to the war effort, the same process
has in fact taken place.
We have applied at home, as I think your Lordships will agree, the principle
of "make do" without impairing our efficiency or our ability. We have rationed
and limited the volume of consumer goods, and we have refrained from launch-
ing new capital enterprises. In point of fact we have quite deliberately curtailed
civilian consumption of every kind, so that each and all of us may give our maxi-
mum contribution to war production and to war needs. I think it must follow
that we cannot afford to use our resources, all of which are now limited, to produce
unessential goods for export, any more than we can produce similar goods for
our own civilians at home. Many sacrifices are being borne in this country today
and I believe that we can only be expected to sustain by exports overseas standards
of civilian consumption and civilian industries at a level which can be justified
by wartime needs. The only exports which the Government can allow, therefore,
are those which directly rather than indirectly, will contribute to winning the war,
essential goods without which the military effort of the country concerned could
not be maintained or its civilian morale upheld. To my mind a policy founded
on any other supposition would really be stark madness.

A Specimen Trade
Let me turn for one moment to give the House a brief description of how one
of our most essential export trades is now organized. The textile trades are, in
point of fact, a good example, for in pre-war days they accounted for one-quarter
of the whole of our wide range of exports. In 1940 we first introduced a limitation
of supplies, which was followed in 1941 by clothes rationing. That in itself was
an effective measure of drastic economy in civilian consumption, and at the same
time it ensured a fair share for all concerned. Although this particular trade has
had to suffer ever-increasing withdrawals of labor for more essential purposes, it
has at the same time to provide for the necessary needs at home and also for the
requirements of the Armed Forces. Inevitably the goods which would be available
for export have had to be reduced and such as are available have been used more
and more to meet the needs of our Empire and our Allies who are dependent upon
us for such essential requirements. For the time being our textile exports to old,
important, and traditional customers in the United States and Latin America'have
been cut off almost completely if and where they have involved demands upon
our productive resources which, through reduced capacity, we have been unable
to meet. I have been told that on occasion pockets of labor are found to exist, and
when these pockets cannot readily or immediately be absorbed for war purposes the
output from them is allowed to go in exports. My noble friend will be aware
that what applies to this industry applies in this respect to very nearly every other
industry as well.
The whole of our current policy is based on manpower which, as everybody
knows, is in short supply. The primary needs we must meet are the home market,
the demands of the Services, and the requirements of those countries which are
dependent on us. That must always limit the quantity which we can spare for
export purposes. The Government are fully aware of the sacrifices which have
been made and which have borne very heavily upon us. It has meant the loss of
contact with old customers, the loss of traditional markets, and these old customers
have had to seek for unaccustomed sources of supply or to develop local industry.
It must be clear to everyone that the exigencies of wari have compelled us to
regulate and restrict exports to an increasing extent. It is not that we consider
them unnecessary or that former exports were of a luxurious nature. Nothing could
be further from the truth. They have had to be restricted so that we could meet

Britain's Export Trade

our home demands which are indispensable for war purposes. We have adopted, as
I have pointed out, an exactly similar policy at home where civilian consumption,
in all respects, has been reduced to the very edge of efficiency and ability. In short,
all our production must be employed to the optimum use for war purposes, and
that has been the one dominant factor in our policy.
U. S. and British Pledges
My noble friend, in the course of his speech, expressed apprehension that in
our current export policy the Government are paying insufficient attention to post-
war considerations. He seemed to suggest that we were content to stand by while
our great Ally, the United States of America, by virtue of her enormous resources,
filled the gap we have been compelled to leave through the war. We intend, the
moment that our resources permit, to raise progressively the rigors of the control
which is now maintained, but we and the United States are, at the present moment,
engaged on a joint adventure, and our energies are jointly concentrated on the
important task in hand. Any Government which set out to divert supplies from
this object and to maneuver for a post-war position would fail in their duty. We
sympathize with those whose export business has had to be reduced or stopped,
and who find that the volume of exports that can be permitted is insufficient to
enable them to maintain their old connections. Unfortunately, it is not always
possible in wartime to explain fully the reasons for decisions which may seem to
them very harsh. On sometimes very imperfect knowledge, people may get the
impression that we are negligently allowing the United States, for example, to
steal a march on us. I ask them to remember that critics are not lacking in the
United States who are making exactly the same complaint about us. All these
allegations and counter-allegations often arise from an impossibility of judging
rightly and correctly the facts of a particular case without full knowledge of all
the circumstances, which cannot always be made available to everyone. We should
be well advised, before lending ear to any voice of suspicion and mistrust, to
remember that the good faith of both Governments, the Government of the
United States and His Majesty's Government, is pledged under the special arrange-
ments which have been made in the economic field for the effective prosecution
of the war, that there should be no self-seeking or maneuvering to further the
post-war interests of either country.
Up to Industry
There is nothing useful that I can say at the present moment about the future.
It is not really necessary for me to dwell at length on the need for exports from
this country. A flourishing export trade built on a firm foundation is, of course,
absolutely vital to the economic life of our people. If the standard of living is to
be maintained and improved, it must revolve to an ever-increasing extent around
our export capacity. Therefore any action which the Government may take must
tend to ensure that the volume of our exports is raised and kept at the highest
possible level. None of us wishes to see again those heart-rending scenes only too
common before the war in the depressed areas-areas which were dependent
to a very large extent on export trade. The Government are discussing the recon-
struction problems of industry with all parties concerned, and in the course of
those discussions every industry has been invited to place before us its views on the
future export trade in their particular class of commodity. My right honorable
friend the President of the Board of Trade is the very first person to appreciate-
and in his view His Majesty's Government concur-that it is not only necessary
to regain our export trade up to the limit of the pre-war level, but in the new
circumstances which will confront this country at the conclusion of the war, when
our oversea resources will be seriously depleted, our export trade must be con-
siderably enhanced.

British Speeches of the Day

I often wonder whether it is sufficiently realized what a difficult position we
shall all in fact face at the conclusion of hostilities; and, although the Government
can of course play their part in making the expansion of export trade possible, it is
in the end only industry itself which can perform the job. By and large, as my
noble friend has said, export trade is really our breath of life, and most of us
would sleep unsoundly if we thought that His Majesty's Government were not
considering this problem. But I think I can assure my noble friend that my own
sleep is not in any way disturbed, for I know that the future of the export trade
is constantly and actively receiving the urgent consideration of His Majesty's
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Economic Warfare
House of Lords, March 15, 1944
My Lords, I am grateful to the most reverend Primate [The Archbishop of
Canterbury] for having raised this question, not only on account of the generous
way in which he did so, but because it gives me an opportunity of attempting
to remove certain misapprehensions which, I have reason to know, are widely held
in different parts of the country. I should also like to say that I am glad that it
was the most reverend Primate who has raised the question. It is, in particular,
his part to bring the policy of His Majesty's Government to the bar of Christian
principles and His Majesty's Government have no wish that their policy should
be judged by any other standard. But when you are attempting to apply Christian
principles in wartime you are faced with a continuous choice of evils, because the
whole fact of war is proof of the failure of one party or the other to attain
the Christian standard. And therefore the question is not whether the policy
of His Majesty's Government is causing evil or not, but whether we are making
the choice of the lesser evil. I should like to say that from the moment I took
office I approached the question which your Lordships have been debating this
afternoon from that angle, and, together with my advisers, have constantly
re-examined it from that angle since. And may I say, in answer to my noble relative
Lord Cecil of Chelwood, that whatever officials were like in my noble friend's day
twenty years ago, I can assure him that my advisers in this matter are neither hide-
bound nor prejudiced. I can assure him that every change in the situation-and
the situation is constantly changing-we try to take into full account, and to see
whether it requires some adjustment of the policy of the blockade.

Europe 90% Self-Sufficient
May I ask your Lordships then to examine the central problem with which
we are faced? In laying it before you I am bound to put the facts and figures in
a somewhat dispassionate and cold manner, but I hope I shall not give the impres-
sion that I am anxious to minimize the extent of suffering which undoubtedly
exists in occupied Europe today. In many parts of every occupied country the
most dire suffering undoubtedly exists, and that is a terribly true fact that we
must never forget. But the governing fact is that since 1940 Germany has con-
trolled by far the greater part of Europe, and with systematic Teutonic thoroughness
and power of organization she has been able to pool the food resources of Europe
in such a way that she can deliver to every portion of the population in every

Europe's Suffering and the Blockade

part of Europe roughly what amount of food she considers to be in her own
When Europe was overrun by Germany and the blockade was applied, many
people seemed to think that Europe would starve to death, but they forgot the
fact that before the war Europe was more than 90 per cent self-sufficient in food
supplies. The primary effect of the German control was to divert the channels
of trade. The noble Viscount, Lord Leverhulme, reminded your Lordships that
Belgium, prior to the war, used to import over 70 per cent of her food supplies
from abroad. How did Belgium pay for these imports? She paid for them by
exports across the oceans. Now these exports all go to Germany, and in return
Germany is bound to send to Belgium, or cause to be sent to Belgium from other
occupied countries, sufficient food supplies to enable Belgian industry to function
to the greatest advantage of the German State. Being in this position, Germany is
also able to decide how much manpower shall be devoted to agriculture and the
growing of food. She has, as a matter of fact, increased the manpower engaged
in agriculture by several hundred thousands of people; and if we had not applied
the blockade and prevented food coming to Europe, all these people would be
serving either in the German Army or in munition factories.

Mitigation of the Blockade
In applying the blockade we have endeavored, as far as possible, to mitigate
its impact on our unfortunate Allies in the occupied countries. For instance, we
have not only allowed but facilitated imports of food from neutral countries
within what we call the "blockade area"-that is countries like Spain and Portu-
gal-because these countries are also within the purchasing reach of Germany.
By giving exchange facilities and in other ways we have facilitated the dispatch
of Portuguese fish, for example, to distressed cases in occupied countries. Again,
we have taken Vitamin D off the contraband list altogether because we felt that that
could be done without seriously assisting the enemy, and also because it is a most
important vitamin for growing children. We have also made it plain to neutral
countries in Europe that if they were willing and able to receive children and other
refugees from the occupied countries, Great Britain would make no objection to
these neutral countries importing more food in order to sustain these refugees.
In this and other ways we have tried to mitigate the effect of the blockade on the
unfortunate inhabitants of the occupied territories, but otherwise we have had to
enforce the blockade strictly for the reasons I have given, and thereby have forced
hundreds of thousands of people away from the German munition factories and
army on to agriculture.
As I have indicated, Germany now has all occupied Europe rationed and
organized in her own interests, and is able to send food from one country to
another, although both countries may be short of food, and so keep the level of
supply at just what height in any country she wishes, just as the Metropolitan
Water Board controls the levels of their numerous reservoirs, each at its appropriate
level in relation to the amount of water the Board can command., In the case of
Greece, the Germans made a calculation and came to the conclusion that they would
lose more than they would gain by trying to preserve the economy and life of
Greece. They came to the conclusion that it was not worth the extra effort because
Greece was a large importer of foodstuffs and had very little to contribute to the
German war machine. So they simply let Greece starve with the cold, calculated
brutality which is characteristic of them. Sometimes we are reproached with
treating Greece differently. It was not we who have treated Greece differently,
it was the Germans; I shall speak of what the Allies have tried to do in the case
of Greece later on. I ought also to make it plain that the Germans have also
treated Poland, Russia, and Yugoslavia differently from the countries in Western

British Speeches of the Day

Europe, principally because of the savagery of the fighting, the warfare on the
Russian Front and on the Polish Front (which has never surrendered, but is con-
tinually maintained/ty the Polish underground army). The same is true of Yugo-
slavia. This has prevented the Germans from being able to utilize the territories
of these countries which they have overrun for the benefit of their war machine
in the manner they had expected. Therefore, they have revenged themselves in
according them appreciably worse economic treatment than they have meted out to
other countries.

One Economic Unit
In Western Europe Germany has been engaged in extracting the maximum
amount of war effort from the unfortunate people she has conquered while
supplying them with the minimum amount of food required for the purpose. It is
a mistake to think of Belgium as in a different category in this respect from any of
the other countries of Western Europe. In fact, all political boundaries in occupied
Europe have temporarily ceased to have any significance. Occupied Europe is one
economic unit and is worked by the Germans as such. There are of course within
that unit individual differences but they are not differences dictated by political
boundaries. There are differences of function. People get greater rations in accord-
ance with their value to the German war machine. There are also the differences
between the rich and the poor. But the greatest difference of all is between town
and country. However efficient their machine, the Germans do not find it possible
to extract as much food as they would like out of the country peasant, and the
only respect in which Belgium is in any way different from any other country in
Western Europe is that the urban population there is greater than in most other
parts of Europe. The people of Lille are just as hungry as the people of Brussels,
and indeed there are parts of Europe where hunger conditions according to my
information are definitely worse than anything known in Belgium. Therefore I
know of no reason why relief should be confined to Belgium, and I am quite sure
it is the last thing our gallant Belgian Allies would ask.
I think it was the most reverend Primate who spoke of the relative difficulty of
getting food to Belgium or to Poland. I have had many interviews with beneficent
people on this subject and I find there are many people who are under the impres-
sion that it is much easier to get food to Belgium than to Poland. That, my Lords,
is an entire mistake. You could not send any food to Belgium without permission
of the German Government, and if you had permission of the German Government
there would be no transport impossibility in sending food to Poland. Therefore
it is not true to say that the Belgians are in that respect in any different category.
Certainly the conditions in Brussels are better than the conditions that exist in

Conditions in Belgium Have Improved
The Advisory Medical Council over which my noble friend Lord Horder so
ably presides, recently published some very distressing figures about the conditions
in Belgium and the noble Lord quoted some of them this afternoon. I am not
unfamiliar with those figures which are taken from the report issued by Doctor
Heymans. That report was published in December, 1942, and referred mainly
to the previous twelve months-that is to say, it covered the abnormally hard
winter of 1941-42 and the very serious conditions that resulted in the next few
months from that winter. Noble Lords will remember that that winter was
particularly serious. The frost was so hard that millions of tons of potatoes were
frozen in the clamp, the canals were frozen, and even railway engines and trucks
would get frozen up at night, so that not only transport by canal but also transport
by railway was seriously interfered with. Since then, I am happy to tell your

Europe's Suffering and the Blockade

Lordships, there has been some improvement in Belgium. For instance, the bread
ration has been increased twice since the last harvest and the quality of the bread
is better. The fat ration has also been increased and deliveries are more regular.
There is one point in the most reverend Primate's speech to which I should
like to refer. Other noble Lords also touched upon it. They warned us that the
effect of this war may be to leave a Germany inhabited by healthy people whereas
the countries that were occupied will be inhabited by emaciated and permanently
weakened people. As I said just now, I do not wish to be taken as in any degree
minimizing the terrible evils that do undoubtedly exist, but I think it is important
that we should preserve a sense of proportion in all these matters. Therefore it is
germane to remind your Lordships of what took place as a result of the last war.
I can remember, and I am sure my noble friend Lord Cecil, as Minister of Blockade
in the last war, will remember, that exactly the same fear was expressed in 1918
and 1919 about German youth. The hunger conditions existing in Germany in
1918 were probably worse than anything existing at any rate in Western Europe
today. I remember that many people in those days were afraid that one whole
generation of the German race would be so emaciated or weakened by that hunger
that it would be not until the next generation that Germany could recover. That
is the generation of Germans which have fought this war, and I do think it is
important to remember that fact because it enables us to hope at any rate that the
physical injury to the young people of the occupied territories may not be so great
as some of us fear. I do not think anyone can say that the present generation
of young Germans shows any physical deterioration compared to their forefathers.

Belgian Death Rate
But, my Lords, in regard to the statistics given by the noble Lord, Lord Horder,
concerning Belgium, I am able to give figures which I certainly find to some
extent reassuring. They are the figures of the death-rate in Belgium. They also
have the value of enabling us to make some comparison with the conditions of
Belgium in this war and in the last war. In 1914 the death-rate per thousand
in Belgium was 14.14. By 1918 it had gone up to 20.82. That was a very terrible
increase. In 1939 at the beginning of this war it was 14.15, practically the same
as it was at the beginning of the last war, and I will give your Lordships the rate
for every year of this war. In 1939 it was 14.14; in 1940 it was 15.08; in 1941
it was 14.37; and in 1942 it was 14.3. For the first half of the year 1943-I have
not got the figures for the second half-deaths were at the rate of 13.0 per
thousand. Those figures to my mind are remarkable for two reasons. Not only do
they show that the death-rate in Belgium is little if any higher than before the
outbreak of war, but we must remember also that a very large number of men
of military age have been taken out of Belgium into Germany for forced labor.
It is not pregnant women and adolescent children of twelve to fourteen who have
been deported by the Germans. They have deported what ought to be the strongest
and healthiest section of the community. Therefore these figures would appear to
be better than they really seem at first sight.
My second comment is that these figures are a great deal better than the figures
of the last war, and that in spite of the fact that during the last war there was a
vast organization under the auspices of Mr. Hoover administering great quantities
of relief in Belgium. General Ludendorff, in a book published after the last war,
said that relief had been of considerable benefit to Germany. The figures I have
just quoted to your Lordships seem to show that it was of very little benefit to
Belgium. ..
These figures are the figures officially published in Belgium. By Department
has no reason to believe that they are faked or that they do not represent the facts.

British Speeches of the Ddy

We, of course, have to deal with great masses of figures and returns from all
over occupied Europe which reach us in various ways, and we are also in touch
with any person who comes from Belgium to this country. Therefore we have to
make an estimate as to the reliability of all the figures which reach us. We have
no reason to believe that these figures are in any way faked. They do strike me as
being very significant. I have also the infantile mortality figures. Unfortunately
I have not got them for the last war, but I have figures for some years prior to this
war. In 1928 the infantile mortality rate was 87 per thousand, and it very
curiously rose in 1929 and 1930, although those were years of great prosperity
when the post-war boom was at its highest and before the slump reached Belgium.
In 1929 the rate rose to 104 per thousand and in 1930 it was 93 per thousand.
By 1939, just before the outbreak of this war, the rate had been reduced to 73
per thousand. It rose sharply in 1940 to 89 per thousand. I do not think that
is at all strange when one considers the horrors of the German invasion. In 1941
it fell to 83, in 1942 it fell to 78, and during the first half of 1943 infantile
mortality was at the rate of 80 per thousand. These figures show that infantile
mortality is definitely higher than it was just before the war but that the position
is better than it was twenty years ago when national hygiene was not as good as
it is today. I quote these figures merely to try to put the isolated statements which
reach us into some perspective. A statement may be perfectly true in itself, but
unless you can give it some statistical background it does not give the whole
For the reasons I have given it is impossible to treat this question of relief
on a national basis. I would remind your Lordships that there are Norwegian,
French and Dutch sailors in Norwegian, French and Dutch ships, as well as the
sailors and ships of other Allies, who are risking their lives every day in bringing
food to this country. They are willing, and indeed eager, to do this because they
recognize that these islands are the pivot of the resistance to Germany and the
base from which their own countries will be liberated. What justification should
we have in asking them to risk their lives in bringing food to the exclusion of their
own countries to countries which are in no greater straits? Therefore I say that
the only possible basis on which a relief scheme could be administered without
manifest injustice would be relief to the most necessitous cases irrespective of

Difficulties of Travel and Communication
I think the most reverend Primate went some way to recognize that when
he concentrated his plea on the nursing mothers and adolescent children. Nursing
mothers and children of all ages already get supplementary rations in all occupied
Europe, though I quite agree-no one can doubt it after the speech of the noble
Lord, Lord Horder-that these supplementary rations, particularly in the case of
children of twelve to fourteen, are generally inadequate. But I do assure your
Lordships that the administrative difficulties of arranging a relief scheme for these
individuals would be very formidable indeed. In the first place no sort of machinery
exists for carrying out this wbrk. People talk about the Red Cross, but the
International Red Cross was designed for a totally different and much smaller and
simpler task, that of transmitting parcels to prisoners of war in properly constituted
prisoners-of-war camps. Outside prisoners-of-war camps, the International Red
Cross is just a voluntary society, and voluntary societies are quite unable to exercise
any control in the areas in which they operate.
I do not think that the difficulties of travel and communication in German-
occupied Europe are always fully realized. I would like to give your Lordships one
or two cases to illustrate the sort of thing I mean. I recall a case in which a rather
important consignment of medical supplies was sent, in 1942, to a certain destina-

Europe's Suffering and the Blockade

tion in an occupied country. It was entrusted to the care of a society whose complete
integrity and conscientiousness are undoubted. The supplies arrived at their destina-
tion in the middle of 1942, but it was not until nearly a year later that we were
able to obtain confirmation of the fact, and an inquiry regarding the subsequent
distribution of these goods has remained unanswered until the present time.
Again, at the end of 1942, a reputable and completely trustworthy society was
charged, in another part of Europe, with the distribution of certain supplies which
had been admitted through the blockade, but it was not until nine months later
that we were able to obtain any account of the way in which the distribution had
been' carried out. I could quote many more instances to show that it is quite
impossible for anybody in England, or in any other country, to control the distribu-
tion of food to necessitous cases in the manner which the most reverend Primate
seemed to visualize.

The Basic Ration
Even if you were able to establish control of the distribution so that the goods
really did got to the people for whom they were intended, that would be perfectly
valueless unless you could also control the basic ration. If you could not control
the basic ration, the Germans, by reducing that basic ration, could nullify the
supplementary ration. I gathered from' the speech of the most reverend Primate
that he was under the impression that the Germans have never reduced rations on
account of food being taken into occupied countries from outside. What the most
reverend Primate does not seem to take fully into account, is that the basic ration
in occupied Europe is constantly fluctuating just as it is in this country. We open
our paper, or we listen to the wireless, and we learn that the Minister of Food
has reduced the cheese ration, and increased the butter ration, or whatever it is,
and that so many points will buy something next month whereas today that number
of points buys either more or less. That is going on all over occupied Europe just
as it is in England, and it is the only way in which controllers can adjust their
Therefore, it would be impossible to say that the Germans had reduced the basic
ration on account of the supplementary ration, but if the most reverend Primate
thinks that they would not do it then I very respectfully beg to disagree with him
on the point. When we realize how short of food Europe is, when we realize
the dangers by which Germany is faced in consequence of the loss of the Ukraine
and the peril to her other great granary in Rumania, can any reasonable man doubt
that the Germans would avail themselves of the amount of food going into a
country in order to manipulate the basic ration in such a way that the benefit of the
imported food redounded to them rather than to the peoples of the conquered
countries? The noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, said it was not enough
for us to have hypothetical reasons--suspicions or fears, I think, were the words
he used. But this is actually what happened in Belgium in the last war. As I have
been able to show your Lordships today there was this vast relief scheme going on
for over two years-conducted by Mr. Hoover-in which millions of pounds were
spent and we had General Ludendorff boasting, at the end of the war, that that was
of benefit to Germany. Surely the way in which that happened was that less food
was sent from Germany to Belgium than would have been sent if those relief
supplies had not been going in. That is what I believe in fact occurred, and, as I
have been able to show your Lordships, there are vital statistics bearing on this.
The death-rate was very much higher under that system than anything which has
been experienced in this war. Therefore, I say, that it is not reasonable to suppose
that the Germans would not avail themselves of any considerable quantity of food
that was imported in this way. And I think it is very important that people should
realize that the quantity of food must be considerable if it is to do any good.

British Speeches of the Day

I am afraid that I have already detained your Lordships longer than I. meant
to do, but, if I were to trespass that much further on your Lordships' time, I could
show you that some of the proposals put forth by the protagonists of relief, will not
bear mathematical examination. Some of those protagonists in one breath say that
the people of such-and-such a country are not getting more than half the number
of calories that they require, and in the next breath they say that it is only a
question of sending 2,000 tons of foodstuffs a month or something of that sort.
If you are going to make any impression on the most necessitous cases in Europe,
very large amounts of food will be involved as well as great organization. If that
food went into Europe, although those individual people might, and probably
would, get those food parcels, the basic ration which they also get from the
German authorities would in fact have a corresponding amount knocked off it.

Collaboration with the U. S.
The most reverend Primate referred to the Resolution passed by the Senate
of the United States. I hope that everybody who reads that Resolution will do so
carefully, because it is a carefully-worded Resolution. Your Lordships will naturally
not expect me to comment on a Resolution passed by the Senate of the United
States, but I will say that ever since the United States came into the war the
United States Government and His Majesty's Government have been daily collabo-
rating on the policy of blockade, and it is a United Nations policy and no- merely
the policy of this- country.
The noble Viscount, Lord Leverhulme, said that if any scheme was tried and
it was found that advantage was being taken of it by the Germans it would be
possible for His Majesty's Government to stop it. It would be technically possible
to stop it, and we could do so, but what do your Lordships. think that the result
would be for the people in the occupied countries, who had become entirely
dependent on the food which was coming in from abroad? If that were shut off,
I have no doubt what the German reaction would be; the Germans would simply
allow those people to starve, as they did the people of Greece, and we should
then be told, and not without reason, that the last state of that house was worse
than the first. I think that it is a most dangerous thought with which to :omfort
ourselves in this matter.

The Case of Greece
In the case of Greece, it has been necessary to erect most elaborate machinery.
There is a Swedish-Swiss Relief Commission under the auspices of the International
Red Cross, and they are charged with the duty of seeing that the Germans do not
steal the produce of the country, and also that certain food supplies come from
German-occupied Europe as well as from abroad. The most reverend Primate
challenged me to say that the Germans had broken their undertakings with regard
to Greece. I must ask him not to press me on that point, but I will say this, that
our experience in Greece has not been such as to encourage us to think that a system
of control of that kind would be easy to administer in other parts of occupied
The most reverend Primate asked me some questions about the food ,ent to
Greece. This, as many of your Lordships know, was originally 15,000 tons a
month, but substantial additions have been made since the scheme began, with
the result that the total monthly quantities allotted are now between 20,0C0 and
21,000 tons, and include 600 tons of milk every month, and vitamin concentrates
as well. Since the Greek scheme was started, over 300,000 tons of food have been
imported into Greece-300,000 tons for a very small country with a population
of 7,000,000. I ask those of your Lordships who think that small quantities of
food would suffice to deal with the problem in other parts of Europe to calculate

The Government's Housing Program

the sort of tonnage which would in fact be involved in attempting to deal with
even the most necessitous cases for the whole of Europe.
This food is very largely the gift of the Canadian and American Governments.
It comes in ten Swedish ships specially released for the purpose. The most reverend
Primate was quite right in saying that shipping is not a difficulty so long as Sweden
is willing to release ships from the Baltic for the purpose. I feel that your Lord-
ships would like to thank the Swedish Government for the invaluable help which
they have given to the cause of humanity in this matter They have organized the
whole scheme, and they have never failed us at any turn. Our thanks are also
due to the International Red Cross and to the Canadian and American Govern-
ments for the generosity which they have shown, and also to the Royal Hellenic
Government, without whose initiative and persistence this scheme would never
have seen the light of day, and who have readily incurred very heavy financial
obligations under it.
I have endeavored to give your Lordships a picture of. the hunger situation
in occupied Europe and of the reasons which have governed the policy of His
Majesty's Government in the matter. We have attempted to deal with the facts
of the case; not dogma but common sense has been our guide. In so far as we
have been able to mitigate the impact of the blockade, we have done so. We have
permitted the import of food from neutral countries in the blockade area. We
have permitted the import of vitamin D. We have said that we would facilitate
the migration of children to neutral countries. We have also made the great experi-
ment of the food relief scheme for Greece. Any other suggestions that can be
made we will always examine with care and sympathy. I do not refuse any request
that the most reverend Primate has made, because, as he has pointed out, the situa-
tion is constantly changing, and if circumstances ever permit us to mitigate the
lot of our Allies without injuring our war effort, we should be very glad to take
advantage of those changed circumstances.
But there is one thing we will not do: we will not do anything that is going
to prolong the war. The hunger conditions that prevail in Europe today are
by no means the worst conditions that prevail. Daily the most appalling atrocities
and outrages are being perpetrated-murders, tortures, blackmailing, imprison-
ments-all have been committed wholesale by the Nazi monster. The annals of
history can show nothing worse than the calculated, scientific, bestiality which
is Hitler's New Order. Let us beware that in trying to save the health of the
young people of the occupied territories we do not prolong by a single day the
appalling degradations and horrors to which they are subject. Let us also beware
lest by prolonging the war we sacrifice the lives of the thousands of young men
who, from all the Allied countries, are marching to liberate Europe.
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Health
House of Commons, March 15, 1944
I beg to move: "That this House, being concerned at the hardship caused by the
stoppage of house building during the war and recognizing the urgent need to pro-
vide for families without homes of their own, is of the opinion that all possible
steps should be taken, consistent with the paramount needs of the war effort, to
enable house .building to be resumed at the earliest moment." .

British Speeches of the Day

In the circumstances of today, no Member of this House and, I think, no
member of any local authority, would venture to speak on the subject of housing
without a sense of grave responsibility. . .
Let not those who are serving in the Forces fear that we who are too old for
this war forget what we learnt in the last. I, for one, as a Territorial officer, was
very closely in touch in 1919 and 1920 with the men with whom I served from
1914 to the end of 1917, and the same is true of many members of the Govern-
ment and Members of this House. In 1921-22 I lived in one of the worst housing
areas in South London. . I most genuinely welcome this Debate and such
confidence as I have is derived from the fact that I know that of all social ques-
tions, and second only to the prosecution of the war with all our efficiency and
vigor, this is perhaps the question that interests the House most of all at the
moment. The destruction of home life is one of the worst of all the war losses
and its rebuilding must be a primary object in reconstruction. Nothing is more
welcome to me than that I should be stimulated, encouraged and criticized in
this field.
During three years as Special Commissioner I saw the wartime conditions of this
great city, and during the last four months I have had constantly in mind how much
the lack of a home must mean to those hundreds of thousands who have not been
able to enjoy one during the war and who are looking forward to the day when
they can begin or resume family life. My main task in housing is to see that a
home is available as quickly as possible after the war for every family that needs
one. There are many right hon. and hon. Members of this House with long experi-
ence in housing and this is the first opportunity that has been open to me to obtain
their views.

Priority for Families
I think the House will expect me to give some short account of my stewardship
during these last four months. Just before my appointment my right hon. Friend
the Prime Minister said in the House that my Department does not, and cannot,
in time of full war mobilization, possess the facilities which are necessary for a
satisfactory handling of the domestic housing problem. May I give one simple
illustration of the truth of that fact? The number of men in the building industry
today is, approximately, only 40 per cent of the number in the industry at the out-
break of war. Not only is that so but, as in other fields, the men are, on the
average, very considerably older. Thirdly, this very much reduced number is quite
inevitably distributed and organized with a view to war needs and not to the social
needs which are so close to all our hearts. We have to use it to meet the needs
of building for war production as well as for the essential needs of dvilian life
and the building of new houses has become, to all intents and purposes, impossible.
'I hope to persuade the House that in these last four months, we have been able,
by using our limited resources as best we can, to make some contribution to the
most urgent priority needs and to take the best preparatory action available to us.
In all these matters I have been very closely in touch with . the Minister of
Labour and National Service, . the Minister of Works and the Chairmar. of the
War Damage Commission. What we have tried together to do is to concentrate
available building labor on essential housing needs, on the repair of war damage-
quite a lot of it in recent weeks--on essential' repairs to other houses, on making
requistioned houses fit for occupation, on converting and adapting requisitioned
houses and on the completion of some unfinished houses. The House will remember
that last July my predecessor extended the power of requisitioning, given already to
local authorities, to a new field-to the field of requisitioning to meet the needs
of families inadequately housed. Among that very wide class my right hon. Friend

The Government's Housing Program

called particular attention to families including a father discharged from the Forces
and to families consisting of the wife of a serving man and his children. Since
November last we have been able to go a stage further with the policy of repair.
I had discussions with the local authorities and on January 29 I issued a circular
to them authorizing them to spend up to 500 a house in this repair work-not only
up to 250 a house as before. It so happened that earlier that month I had been
to Manchester and to Liverpool, and there I found that the raising of the limit in
this way was really the first point on the list of requests they were making to the
Government, and it was most satisfactory to be able to give them that authority.
We hope, and of course it can only be a hope, that during this year we shall
really break the back of the outstanding repairs of war damage. And that is not
only first aid repairs. First aid repairs have always had the highest priority, and
always must. Speedy execution of first aid repairs after raids is an extraordinary
encouragement not only to those who have been actually bombed out but to the
whole community round them. I saw that for myself a week or two ago when I
visited three Metropolitan boroughs. I made particular inquiry into the question
how the cooperative arrangements between the various local authorities and be-
tween my officers and those of . the Minister of Works and his emergency
squads had worked; and from people quite unconnected with either of us I got
the most encouraging reports of the flexibility of this organization-in London
at any rate, and that is the place of which I can speak from my personal knowledge,
it is really most satisfactory. Scores and hundreds of men will come from one local
authority to help another and I have no doubt that their aid is very valuable.

Preparation of Sites
Now I come to a matter which was raised last summer, as I remember well,
by my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), and that is
the use of labor no longer required for work on airfields. He raised the question
whether that labor could not be used in the field of housing. That has occurred.
The organization, the labor and the plant used in the airfields program is in course
of being released from that work, and . the Minister of Works has arranged
to make it available for the preparation of sites for housing.
The work for which this organization will be available is the construction of
roads and sewers, in addition to the preparation of the actual sites for houses, and,
where it is desired, electricity, water and gas services. The arrangements suggested by
my Noble Friend have been discussed in my Department with representatives of
local authorities, and I advised them on the 21st of last month of the action we
suggested they should take in order to avail themselves of the offer of this labor and
plant. The local authorities are working on this, under an elastic arrangement
which involves the grouping of authorities for this special purpose, with a leader
who will act for them all and enter into the contract. The sites which are to be
prepared are substantial in number; and we hope they will be sufficient for some-
where between 200,000 and 300,000 houses. It is, of course, important that the
sites should be properly chosen. On that point we have an established procedure
under which consultation takes place with the authorities responsible for planning
and agriculture and we are taking as careful steps as possible to see that interference
with food production, including, of course, allotments, is reduced to an absolute
minimum. These two measures, the added range of repairs and the preparation
of sites, are both steps which might be called clearing the decks for action in the
building of permanent new houses. The preparation of sites is something quite
novel. Nothing of the kind was done in the last war and I believe it will be of
most substantial advantage in getting a quick start.

British Speeches of the Day

I ought to say something now on the general size and scope of the whole prob-
lem as we see it. On a number of occasions there has been reference in this House
to a program of 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 houses. That figure is an estimate, an
informed estimate, of the number of houses that will be needed over a period of
ten to twelve years. It is not, thank goodness, the number we need immediately
the war is over. It includes the needs which we believe will accumulate during that
period, and it includes the replacement over that period of a large number of
houses which we believe should be regarded as obsolescent, if not obsolete. But
the immediate need is much less than that. We cannot give an exact figure but I
think it is reasonable to put it in the neighborhood of 1,000,000 houses. In that
figure I include what we believe to be the number of homes needed for families
without separate homes of their own, replacements of houses already marked for
slum clearance, and houses required if statutory overcrowding-that is, overcrowd-
ing as defined by Statute-is to be abated.

May I turn now in the direction of the specific proposals on which I hope
shortly to introduce legislation? The first special problem is this: Subsidy is at
present limited to certain special purposes-slum clearance, abatement of over-
crowding and the housing of certain classes of agricultural workers. Our problem
after the war is going to be to see that normal families without homes of their
own-and of course a very special and large category of such families will be the
families of ex-Servicemen-have houses built for them; and consequently we feel
that in the period immediately after the European war local authorities must be-able
to provide for these general needs in the same way as they were providing for slum
clearance and overcrowding before the war. We therefore propose to introduce
legislation to make this position.
This proposal will be for a length of time, in the first instance for some period
of the nature of two years or thereabouts. That is the major question with which
this proposed legislation will deal, the widening of the scope of subsidy to meet
our special conditions. On all questions relating to subsidy I am advised that
it has always been customary for a Minister of Health to have preliminary dis-
cussions with representatives of local authorities, not discussions which commit him,
but it is a great help and the procedure is, I think, well known. .

Size of the Labor Force
In these discussions we shall have to try to frame the best estimate we can
of the probable cost of building and the probable rents obtainable daring the
period to be covered by the subsidy; but I cannot help thinking that at present it
will be very difficult to go so far as that and I rather think that we may all prefer,
and in that word "all" I include the local authorities, to postpone legislation fixing
the actual figures until a later date. I feel pretty sure that will turn out to be right.
Let me return to the question of numbers. The figure of 1,000,000 to which I
referred is roughly equivalent to three years' output at the height of our building
activities before the war. And that output, somewhere between 300.000 and
350,000 houses a year was achieved at a time when the building industry contained
more than double its present strength . and I cannot think that at the end of the
European war it will be any larger than it was then. The danger is that it will be
smaller. We all know from the White Paper which has been published that the
Minister of Labour and the Minister of Works are going to try to work up the
building industry to 1,250,000 men. That number is designed to cover the full
program of 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 houses in ten to twelve years; but we shall not

The Government's Housing Program

get a large increase during the period with which I am particularly dealing, the
period after the end of the German war while we are still at war with Japan...
I stress the fact that there is no prospect of a building industry of the requisite
size during the period with which I am dealing. We shall have to try to build
it up, but I must put the immediate program before the House on the basis that
the building industry will have only a fraction of its proper strength and that
out of that depleted strength we shall have to meet not only the claims of new house
building but other new buildings of an essential kind. There will be, too, the
claims of deferred maintenance and repair, and the House will no doubt think it
right to bear in mind that maintenance and repair alone in pre-war days employed
300,000 men-something like the total we shall have available for all purposes. I
should be delighted to come to the House with a larger program of houses than
that to which I referred last week, but I believe that I should be misleading the
House and the country if I put forward any larger figure ....
I am by no means excluding the training of men, but the training will not
have reached very large proportions during the first year, or perhaps during the
first two years, to which I am referring. May I remind the House of the figures
I gave last week? We have looked at the position in the light of all the informa-
tion that we can get and we have come to the conclusion that 100,000 built or
building by the end of the first year and a further 200,000 built or building by
the end of the second year is the most we can aim at. The number of houses my
right hon. Friend the Secretary of State hopes to see building in Scotland is more,
I am glad to say, than the proportionate figure of population; it is 50,000 out of
the 300,000. Of course, if circumstances turn out better than we expect we shall
review the program. If anyone is disposed to suggest that these figures are less
than the Government should be putting forward, may I ask him to recall what
happened during the twenty-eight months following the Armistice in 1918, a
period when we were engaged in no major military operation? During that
period of twenty-eight months, the total number of houses built or building in
England and Wales was about 100,000-as against my figure of 300,000 for a
shorter period-and the figure for the first sixteen months was less than 14,000.

Experiments for the Emergency
These figures I have given relate to houses of permanent construction. Bear-
ing in mind the considerations I have put before the House, I feel convinced
that the House will approve of the fact that the Government have, in addition,
been reviewing a number of alternative ways of supplementing the supply quickly.
In the first place, my Noble Friend the Minister of Works has been most actively
engaged on exploratory and experimental work in a number of directions. He and
his Department have been giving me much assistance. He has already started on
the building of a number of demonstration houses, all of permanent construction
but intended to demonstrate the use of different materials and methods and, most
important, to ascertain comparative costs. When they are ready they will be avail-
able for inspection by Members of this House and by local authorities and I think
the House would like a summary of what is being built. There are two pairs of
brick houses, one pair with a narrower and one with a wider front. There are
also two pairs of brick houses on lines accepted for this purpose by Lord Dudley's
Committee, one pair of an urban and one of a rural type. I think we are going
to know more after this war about the distinct types of houses appropriate to
different areas. Then there is a terrace of four brick houses, of which two are
being planned in the matter of equipment by the electricity industry and two by
the gas industry. Then there are fout pairs of materials with which I myself

British Speeches of the Day

am not familiar, one pair of foamed slag poured in situ and one of foamed slag
precast, one pair of no fines concrete and one pair of expanded day light weight
concrete. There are three pairs of steel-framed houses of different types of design
and with different panel in fillings and one pair of all-steel houses. All of these
will be 850 superficial feet except for the two pairs built in accordance with the
Dudley Committee proposals, which will be 900 feet. I should add that in Scot-
land the Scottish Special Housing Association are going to carry out similar
There is one other experiment which is being made at my request, and in this I
had the advantage of the advice of the sub-Committee of my Central Houing Com-
mittee presided over by my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham '(Mr. Lewis
Silkin). During my work as Special Commissioner an ingenius speeding up
in the production of accommodation was effected by the temporary horizontal
division into two small flats of a normal two-story house. The flats, of course,
are small, but so will be many of the family units, as they are called, immediately
after this war is over. Consequently, I asked the Minister of Works if he would be
good enough to build a pair of houses in order to experiment with this horizontal
division and to ascertain their cost. Two for one will, of course, be of immense
advantage if it turns out to be an economical proposition. I am told that the first
of these experimental houses will be furnished and available for inspection next
month and their eventual fate will be that they will be offered to the local authority
for occupation in the ordinary way.
I now pass to the second field of experiment. The Minister of Works is
converting an industrial hostel into temporary houses to show what can be done
there. I feel sure that nothing would be more irritating than for people to see
accommodation of this kind and feel there had not been proper experiment or
research into the way in which it could best be used after the war, and I understand
that the experimental work of conversion is likely to be finished within the next
few weeks. I shall look forward to seeing it and will arrange for an), who are
interested also to see it. The hostel accommodation provided for war purposes
which may be available for housing after the war may ultimately give us accommo-
dation for some 24,000 families, and if the experiment comes out well and if the
conversion is satisfactory and economical that will be a very useful contribution.
Thirdly, and at my request again, my noble Friend the Minister of Works, co-
operating with a number of local authorities, is carrying out experiments in the
conversion of large houses of varying types into flats. Large houses, very often,
are not of much use, as they stand, but it may well be that they, too, will be able
to make a useful contribution. These are not the only experiments going on in this
field. Other local authorities are making similar experiments on their own.
Now I come to a question in which I know that the House and the public take
a very great interest, the question of the possible use of a temporary prefabricated
house. I think that if hon. Members accept for consideration the facts which I
have already put before them, they will form the same view as I have and as the
Government have as a whole, that anything we can do by way of permanent
construction or by way of conversion which can adequately meet our needs dur-
ing the period to which I am referring should be done. The essential point is,
however, that we are doing everything we possibly can to shorten the period of
waiting for those in urgent need of homes of their own and I believe that many
newly married young people would choose the privacy of a temporary house rather
than to go on living with other people, even their "in-laws." So we have been
considering what can be done in this way, using methods which will not involve

The Government's Housing Program

substantial interference with the supply of houses of permanent construction. It
would be no good doing that. The investigation has been on the lines of inquiring
in what way our present productive capacity in the war factories can be switched
over to meet our housing needs. One has to consider the suitability of the tempo-
rary house, the speed of production, the cost, the materials available and production
capacity. The houses so produced will, essentially, be intended for use for a limited
number of years and will be publicly owned and licensed for a period. There must
be no more of temporary houses going on for twenty-five years, but we believe that
there is a real possibility that a most substantial contribution can be made in this
field until such time as permanent houses and flats can be provided in adequate
Lord Portal's prototype will, we believe, be ready by April.. . When it
is finished we intend that it should be made available for inspection by Members
of the House, by local authorities and by the general public who were deeply
concerned in this project and I am sure that there will be an opportunity for dis-
cussion of the matter in Parliament. . I am sure that all of us should preserve
an open mind until we have seen the result of the experiments. In another impor-
tant field, not actually in the construction of houses, I should like to say that the
Ministry of Works has, with the various industries and after consulting other
Ministries, carried the standardization of materials, fittings and equipment quite a
long way. This will be of very considerable importance from the point of view of
saving costs.
Now may I return to the question of sites? Sites are equally important, of
course, for both permanent and temporary houses. I have already referred to the
advance preparation of sites and we must make sure that we have enough land.
I think the House should know what the position is. There are 300,000 houses in
the program and the general situation as regards the land for those houses is not
unsatisfactory. Local authorities already possess 16,000 acres, which is roughly
enough for nearly 200,000 houses. Their, proposals are to buy a further 14,000
acres, which would be enough land, approximately, for another 150,000 houses.
An embargo was placed on the purchase of land at the beginning of the war. Now
it is time that local authorities should be enabled to acquire land needed for their
immediate housing needs and on the 8th of this month I issued a circular to local
authorities asking them to take the necessary steps. I am of opinion that, taking
into account the land in their possession and in process of being acquired, we should
not be held up by the question of land purchase for this limited program. But
there is one other matter. We must not have any obstacles we can avoid in any
individual case at the outset of the program. We want to get a flying start and I
am therefore going to propose that I should be authorized, as the Minister was
authorized for two years after the last war, to confirm compulsory purchase orders
without a public inquiry. It is a power which was given before and I want to make
it dear that such a power would not affect, in any way, the compensation to be paid.

The Purchase of Land
I know there is anxiety about this question of price. It may be that in the
large cities a part of the program will be carried out by building on sites which
have been acquired as a result of slum clearance action taken before the war, but
the great bulk of the land required for the short-term program will be undeveloped
land, for one very good reason among others that it is on land of that kind that
houses can be built most quickly. In my opinion it is unlikely that in these two
years it will be possible or right to proceed on any substantial scale with the dear-
ance of further areas involving the destruction of further houses. We shall not
be able to spare existing houses. It is true that in a long-term housing program

British Speeches of the Day

there must be clearance and reconstruction of these areas and the legislative basis
for the acquisition of land for this purpose will be dealt with as part of the Gov-
ernment's proposals for the acquisition of land for public purposes. But housing,
important as it is, is only one of the public purposes for which local authorities
require and have power to acquire land. . .
As regards the detailed application of what is known as the 1939 ceiling, the
principle accepted by the Government is that compensation in respect of the public
acquisition of land will not exceed sums based on the standard of pre-war values.
To determine the best method by which the principle can be translated into legis-
lative proposals has been an extremely complex task, as hon. Members who are
acquainted at first hand with the subject will readily believe, but I am glad to be
able to tell the House that the matter has reached the stage when my right hon.
Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning is at the present time engaged
in drafting specific proposals. The legislation which it is proposed to introduce
is intended to put the planning authority in a position forthwith to purchase and
plan the whole of the land in reconstruction areas, together with any land required
for the resulting over-spill of population, and to apply not only to the purchase
of land required in connection with the replanning of reconstruction areas but to
determine the maximum amount payable for land required by public authorities
for any public purpose. As the Bill will have to be considered against the wider
background of the Government's general proposals about the future legislative
basis of town and country planning, the Government will make the introduction of
the Bill the occasion for a comprehensive statement of their policy in this field.
These issues go much wider than the question of the acquisition of the addi-
tional land required for the short-term housing program with which I am dealing
today. So far as such additional purchases' are necessary it is essential to take
immediate action and for that action we must rely, for the moment, on the powers
which local authorities already possess, supplemented by the steps for expediting
temporarily the procedure of land acquisition to which I have referred. I have little
doubt that it will be possible to acquire such land on terms which will not conflict
with long-term Government policy. As with the preparation of sites, there will
be full consultation with the authorities responsible for planning and for agri-

Expert Guidance
Before house building can begin we also have to settle the kind of houses to be
built, the general standards of accommodation and the equipment to be put into
them; and I hope in the course of this summer, after consultation with my col-
leagues, to issue a manual for the guidance of local authorities-not to fetter their
originality but to stimulate them. I have seen much local authority housing, show-
ing great originality and very great taste. We want to get the best brains we can
and I am sorry that more architects have not in the past devoted attention to the
problems of cottage building which would provide many opportunities for the
exercise of their professional skill.
I should like, in connection with this manual, to tell the House about the work
that has been done by various Committees. . I have now received the report of
Lord Dudley's Sub-Committee. There were a number of women on the Sub-
Committee and they took evidence from a large number of women's organizations.
I have, as I said, received their report and I intend to publish it. In the course
of the visits to Liverpool and Manchester I have mentioned and by visiting ten or
twelve of the best and most recent London County Council properties, I have been
endeavoring to inform myself on the question of standards. Nor have I failed
to visit specimens of the wartime rural cottages.

The Government's Housing Program

In addition I have recently received a very valuable report on rural housing
from a sub-committee under the Chairmanship of Sir Arthur Hobhouse. I am
proposing also to publish that.
I have described the limitations in the field of labor and I have hinted at the
limitations in the field of materials. Success in our housing effort must depend
on the financial effect of the operations on the Exchequer, the rates and the tenants
of the houses. In 1920 houses were costing local authorities 1,000 each and
between April, 1920, and March, 1921, fewer than 16,000 were built. From 1922
until the outbreak of the war houses built by local authorities averaged between
400 and 500 and the total output of local authorities and private enterprise for
a number of years before 1939 averaged over 300,000 a year. As we know from
the agricultural cottages built in the last few months, costs are on the 1920 level.
If we are to be successful in our housing efforts the cost of building and the rents
of the houses must be brought into relation with the general price level.

Control of Rents
I cannot say more at the moment with regard to rents. It is a controversial
question but a fundamental one. It is being considered by a Committee under the
Chairmanship of Lord Ridley at the present time. Incidentally the Committee is
considering the question of rents for furnished lettings, on which there is con-
siderable anxiety. I get returns from local authorities with regard to this matter
at nine-monthly intervals. Between July, 1941, and September, 1943, there were
nearly 1,100 complaints of excessive rents and these complaints were investigated.
In nearly 400 cases reductions in rent were secured and out of 94 prosecutions 63
were successful. At the moment local authorities concerned are specially investi-
gating complaints that excessive rents are being extracted in the City in particular
from Members of the Forces of our American Allies. Where these complaints turn
out to be well-founded, local authorities will prosecute unless the rents are reduced.
We shall look to many agencies to assist us in our great problem, not only to
local authorities but to private enterprise, housing associations, building societies.
There is a sub-committee under Sir Felix Pole considering private enterprise, and
I hope to have their report soon. I understand that the building societies, two of
whose leading representatives, Sir Harold Bellman and Mr. David Smith, are
members of my own advisory committee, are considering what contribution they can
make to the special problem of the provision of houses for letting.
I have tried to cover the ground fairly and fully and to give the House the fullest
possible information. It is not only my Department that is concerned. It is one
of those questions which the Prime Minister described as of primary importance-
food, work and homes. With the other Ministers concerned I can truly say that
I am working as a member of a team, with my Noble Friend the Minister of Re-
construction to tell us whether the team is working properly and to help us
achieve our goal. Each of us has his part to play, and we shall play our several
parts as one team with the single object of providing as many homes as possible
for those who need them at the earliest possible date.
(House of Commons Debates]

British Speeches of the Day

Minister of Health
House of Commons, March 16, 1944
Just over a year ago, the Government declared its intention to establish a
comprehensive and unified health service for the people, a service covering the
people as a whole, a public, organized and regulated service for every man, woman
and child. Today, the Government seek the approval of Parliament for the broad
principles running through the White Paper presented to Parliament four weeks
ago, so that it may proceed with the next stage, the stage of closer detail, the stage
of negotiations, and so to the preparation, with no undue delay, of legislative
I desire to commend these proposals, and my chief concern at this moment,
when I know how many right hon. and hon.. Members can make valuable con-
tributions, is how to keep within reasonable limits what I have to say on proposals
which are so wide in scope and so very conducive to digression. In the time I
have, for I do not wish to be too long, I feel sure that I shall be right to
concentrate upon principles and not upon any point of detail . .
Is it not right to think of a National Health Service as one of the main pillars
upon which our post-war social structure will rest--education, health, housing,
social insurance, and there will, of course, be others? Each of these pillars needs
to be well fashioned and well founded, and then the structure will be good. This
is the stage at which we are fashioning and founding. Education has already
reached the stage of legislation, health has followed.not too far behind, and it
will not be long before social insurance reaches the same stage; and so, I think, we
may truly say we see the whole structure steadily taking shape. Big as this scheme
is, it is really to be regarded, I feel, as part of a bigger process still, the process
of reshaping the background of individual life in this country. It is really a
counter-process to all the destructiveness of war. I think it is true to say that we
are discussing today a project which will be the biggest single advance ever made
in this country in the sphere of public health. We have had other great public
health landmarks in the past, but this dwarfs them all in its scope and conception.
Bold though it is it is only right that it should be bold, for the health of the
nation, the health of every citizen, young and old, is at the very root of national
vigor and national enterprise, and this should be the scale, I venture to suggest,
on which our discussions should be framed today and on the next Sitting Day.
There will be time and opportunity for discussion of small details in the coming
months and when the time comes for legislation.

Not Charity
What is our real object in this new National Health Service? The object, like
the name of the service, is national. It is to fit the nation for its great responsibili-
ties, to free its members, so far as it is humanly possible to free them, from the
anxieties, the burdens and the pains of ill-health. This is no scheme for giving
charity to individuals or State help to particular classes or groups. This scheme does
not concern itself with poverty or wealth. It is a plan to'raise national health to a
higher plane and keep it there, and to use the nation's full resources to raise it
ever higher. Nobody can guarantee health or get rid of sickness. What we can
do is to improve the opportunity of health, and we can get rid, I have no doubt, of
much of the wear-and-tear that goes with ill-health. We know the anxieties-the
anxiety about paying bills, the anxiety about getting the best advice, an anxiety

The National Health Service

which is worse when we are considering our dependents than when we are consid-
ering ourselves. This scheme is an attempt to get rid of all that, to see what it is
that the nation needs, to see that it is there and to see that advantage can be taken
of it easily and readily.
In one or two places in the White Paper the word "free" occurs, and I should
like to say a word about that, because it is not really an appropriate word. It is far
less true in connection with this service than it is in the field of public education.
A service of this kind has to be paid for-it cannot be free-and the real position
is that the method by which our medical and health services will be paid for is
going to be changed. Everyone will pay for a service for everyone and by three
means-taxation, rates and the social insurance contribution. The only sense in
which the word "free" is appropriate-and I do not really think it is appropriate
at all-is that there will be no charge to those who use the service when they
use it or because they use it.

A Blend of Three Systems
The extent of the social insurance element in this scheme is not yet settled. That
will appear in the Government's social insurance proposals, but it is not incon-
venient, I think, to assume for the moment Sir William Beveridge's suggestion
of a contribution of 40,000,000 out of the Social Insurance Fund towards the
health services. Then, on a rough estimate, 27 per cent of the cost of this service
will be met on the contributory system, leaving about 36 per cent for taxation
and about 36 per cent for the rates. Perhaps it would be convenient to compare
these percentages with the percentages which obtained in our partial services in
the last year before the war. In those services the contributory element amounted
to no more than 20 per cent, the contribution from the Exchequer was far smaller
than the 36 per cent to which I have referred-it was a mere 6 per cent-and
the ratepayers' contribution was proportionately far higher, 74 per cent. This
scheme is a novel blend of three systems, a novel blend of central organization
and expenditure, local government administration and expenditure, and a con-
tributory system, and, woven into the whole, a wide range of arrangements of a
contractual kind for services by voluntary organizations of many sorts.
In the time at my disposal I do not think it is necessary or that it would be
right to say much about, our present services. We know what magnificent work
has been done in many fields, and we know, too, the deficiencies. The present
situation is set out very fully, and I hope conveniently, in the first Appendix to the
White Paper, but, just summarizing it, we know that there are local government
units of half a dozen kinds, with different services put upon them at different
times, with limited objects in view. We know that there are hospitals for general
cases, chronic cases, acute cases, special cases, infectious cases, the mentally ill
and the mentally deficient. There is a wide range of welfare services. There
is the widest range of hospitals-voluntary hospitals, general, special, teaching
and cottage hospitals. There are the public hospitals, which have made such great
progress in recent years. But whatever be the wealth of good material, no one
can say that it forms anything like an organic whole. . Perhaps the greatest
deficiency of all is that our present services provide no personal doctor for the
wives and dependents of insured persons. And there are real difficulties of access
to the appropriate hospital for the particular case. There are new services which
we need-dental services, ophthalmic services and others. What we have to do,
I feel sure, is to see that this great new service evolves naturally out of what we
have. We do not want any doctrinaire scheme; we want a natural evolution.
We want a scheme that will work, and into which every one of the present elements
can put their best.

British Speeches of the Day

Four Principles
The proposals in the White Paper, I think it is true to say, are built around
certain principles which the Government believe to be fundamental. I would say
that there are four main principles and, after stating these, I shall pass to a number
of features in the plan which derive from these principles. The first principle,
which I have already mentioned, is that of comprehensiveness. The whole range
of health care must be made available to every person, starting with the family
doctor and ranging through all kinds of clinic and domiciliary services to the
consultant and the specialist-another service entirely absent at present in any
organized form-and the hospital. I would emphasize again what I think is as
yet hardly realized by the general public-the immense advantage of including
wives and children and not merely the insured contributor.
Then, there is the second principle, the freedom of the individual. No one,
patient or doctor, must be dragooned into any part of this service, or any form
of treatment, unless they want to use it. We want it to be there for everybody, but
not thrust upon anybody. There must be no compulsion of the doctors, or the
nurses, or any others whose job it is to give the service. On the whole, professional
people know their own professional job best, and should be left as free as possible
to practise it in their own way. A certain amount of organization is essential. The
State is taking the responsibility of providing the service and we must see that
it is there, when and where it is needed, but we must do everything to see that
organization spells neither bureaucracy nor red tape.
The third principle, which runs clearly through the whole of this Paper, is the
principle of democratic responsibility. We feel that the new public responsibility
to see that the whole service is there and that it is good must rest, both centrally
and locally, with the elected representatives of the people, that is, with Parliament
and with Ministers directly responsible to Parliament, and with local government
in the general sense in which we know it in this country. ..
The fourth main principle is that of professional and vocational guidance. The
ultimate responsibility must be fully democratic, but the whole service must benefit
throughout from the very best professional and expert advice and guidance that
we can obtain. If this service is to achieve the best professional standards, it must
enjoy and take note of the best professional counsels.

No Regimentation
With those four principles in mind-and I hope the House will accept all four
-I should like to turn to the actual organization and point out a number of
main features-perhaps six or seven-which the Government feel to be funda-
mental to their proposals. The first I would mention is that well-known principle,
the free choice of doctor. There is no doubt that the personal and intimate
relationship of doctor and patient is inherent in medical practice in this country.
There are very few people who do not attach the greatest importance to being free
to choose their own medical adviser and to change to another when they want
to do so. Very few people want to be doctored by a service. They like being
doctored by the doctor of their choice, and if people want this principle to remain,
remain it must just so long as they want it. ...
Secondly, there is, in the belief of the Government, no case for anything which
could reasonably be called a regimentation of the medical profession. Some people
believe in a salaried medical service; some people believe in the present basis of
practice, under which a doctor, broadly speaking, is remunerated according to the
number of patients whose care he undertakes; some people believe in practising
in groups; some people believe in practising as separate individuals. These vary-

The National Health Service

ing beliefs are not only found among the doctors; they are found among the
patients; and so, in this matter, I would emphasize that, whatever rumor may say,
the Government have no intention of seeking to establish a fully salaried State
medical service. We do believe that where doctors practise in public health
centers, there must be a system of payment which does not involve competition
between one another, and that is a proposal which is to be found in the Paper
with regard to practice in health centers. But it would be a mistake to universalize
one system at this stage. Let the service, we advise, be big enough to give scope
to all these points of view. Let us try them all, side by side, the public will
steadily find its own preferences.
This attitude of experiment is particularly true of the health center idea. The
White Paper contemplates experiments of many kinds which we are encouraged to
suggest by the fact that health centers of many kinds have been suggested by the
profession itself. Many in the profession believe that the best work of the general
practitioner can be done in a health center, specially designed and specially
equipped, where the team of doctors would profit from the pooling of their
experience, from up-to-date resources, and from the saving of their time by the
provision of ancillary staff. Patients in an area where there were such health
centers would choose their own doctor just as they do now. They would see him
in his consulting room. He would have consulting hours and would visit his
patients at home just as he does now. But there seem good grounds for suggesting
that doctors practising in that way would have a considerable advantage-and
their patients would have advantages, too-from the fact that the team could cover
emergencies. They could deal with time off, holidays, and refresher courses more
easily than they can now in solitary individual practice. The whole idea seems
to us sensible and attractive and we want it to be tried out fully and fairly. The
doctors and the people will want to see how it develops.

Apprenticeship for Doctors
Thirdly, with regard to general practice, the Government do not believe that
practice under private arrangements should be either prohibited or isolated. If
people are to have the right to seek private advice where they want it-and it
would be a strange proposal that people should not have that right-it follows that
the doctors must be free to treat them. Nothing, in the view of the Government,
could be more unfortunate than to divide the profession into two classes, those who
practise publicly, and those who practise privately. What we want is to see the
whole of the best of the profession engaged in this service, not to divide it into
two camps. But there are one or two points which should be made in regard to
that. We do feel that a doctor who has more private patients should have a smaller
number of public patients, and the scheme provides for professional regulation
of that balance. We think, too, that doctors in big practices will need young
assistants and that there is a strong case for requiring all young doctors first
entering on general practice, to serve an apprenticeship with an experienced general
practitioner, especially in a publicly financed service where the patients have the
right to rely on the doctor being an experienced practitioner.
The fourth point I would mention in this connection is in relation to a sentence
which has, perhaps, as a sentence, caused more controversy' than any other in the
Paper. I was even asked a question about it when I visited the county of Suffolk
a week or two ago. I have had only one discrepancy between the White Paper and
the abridged version brought to my notice and considering all the difficulty of
abridgment, that is not, I think, unsatisfactory. In the sentence dealing with the
proposal that in certain cases the Central Medical Board ought to be able to require
a young doctor to give his whole time to the public service, in the longer version

78 British Speeches of the Day

the word "where" appears--"where this is required": in the shorter version the
word is "when." The word should be "where" in each case, but, even after
making that small correction, I think that the sentence might read more appro-
priately in slightly fuller form. The White Paper, on page 35, might say:
"The Board must also be able to require a young doctor entering the public
service to give his full time to that service during the early years of his career
in cases where the needs of the service require this."
This sentence does not point the way to any direction of the kind to which we
are accustomed during the war. All it is intended to mean is this-I give the fol-
lowing as an example. A young man thinks of practising in Wakefield. He says,
"I should like to enter into the public service in Wakefield." The Central Medical
Board should in these circumstances be able to say, "Of course you can practice
in Wakefield in private practice, but before we authorize you to take up public
work in Wakefield we wish to tell you there is a great shortage of public service
practitioners, and we feel that for five years you should give your whole time to
that service and should not have any private patients." That is the meaning which
that sentence was intended to have, and I am sorry if it was not quite clear.
On the general practitioner's side, we feel that the scheme proposed in this
Paper will give him immensely greater opportunities. It is only a week or two
since the Prime Minister described the attempt that we are going to make in
connection with this service as-war with disease as the enemy. That great man
Sir William Osler once, in an address to medical students, described the family
doctor as "The man behind the gun." That is how we regard him in connection
with this service. We believe that in various fields he will be able to contribute
far more in this service than before, and in particular we want to link his work
far more closely with child welfare, maternity work, and all the different activities
of the local clinic.

Nurses and Midwives
Here I would put in a word about the nursing profession. In a Paper of this
kind it is natural to stress the doctor and the hospital, but I should like to say
here that that does not mean that we underrate the vital part to be played by the
nurse, the midwife, and all the medical auxiliaries, as they come to be called in
war. The success or failure of this scheme will depend in large measure on the
nurse, not only in hospital and clinic, but in the home, because the intention is to
provide a real service of home nursing and ways and means must be worked out
with the nursing profession itself. That is one of the next jobs to do. Here, too,
we want to build on good existing foundations. I should like to pay a tribute in
passing to the work being done today by the district nursing associations and the
Queen's Institute of District Nurses. The nurse in this scheme will not be merely
an executive. She will have a proper share in the whole machinery which is
proposed for professional and expert consultation in running the scheme. The
nursing profession will have its place, too, on the Central Health Services Council
and on the local health services councils, and we intend that nurses shall find their
place, too, on the expert inspectorate which we propose for the hospital service.
I pass from the general practitioner to the hospital. The voluntary hospitals
of this country are a typical and successful product of this country's methods.
A long history lies behind them. Many people believe in the voluntary hospital
as an organization and as a principle. Many, too, believe in the hospital service of
local government, which, as I have already said, is going rapidly ahead and has a
great future. But in building up this service we want everything good that is
available; we want both types of hospital. The voluntary hospitals, I believe, are

The National Health Service

going to render valuable service in the new scheme. The proposal is that they
should be paid-not as the paupers of old according to their needs, but like
partners in relation to the service they give-by way of standard payments from
joint authorities and by central payments representing social insurance contributions.
We propose to take the voluntary hospitals by the hand; we do not propose to
carry them and I cannot think that they would wish to be carried. For this very
reason they will continue to need the support of those who want them to continue
their work and to maintain their independence and autonomy. I would like to
read one sentence from the White Paper:
"It is certainly not the wish of the Government to destroy or to diminish
a system which is so well rooted in the good will of its supporters."
There is, I think, some misunderstanding as to the financial effect of our pro-
posals upon the voluntary hospitals. That is not, in one particular, entirely un-
natural or surprising, because in the Government's statement of October, 1941,
it was contemplated that in the partnership which was to be built up the voluntary
hospitals might well be largely served financially by the 'contributory schemes
which have been so remarkable a development of recent years. After close con-
sideration, the Government have come to the conclusion that to launch a major
social insurance scheme which did not cover the contributors against perhaps the
greatest normal contingency of life, prolonged illness involving residence in hos-
pital, would be impossible. That being so, one of the two main objectives of the
present contributory schemes must be affected. The contributor will no longer have
that particular contingency to cover, and I feel certain that if that fundamental
principle is accepted by the voluntary hospitals, they would be the last to suggest
that contributory schemes should be maintained simply in order to continue the
existing basis of their finances. Provision is made in the scheme for a change in
this basis and I should like to give one or two figures. Taking the figures of the
last normal pre-war year, 1938, so far as we can work them out from returns from
about 80 per cent of the hospitals, the payments received through contributory
schemes and direct from patients through the almoner system would come to
5,300,000. The new Exchequer payment proposed to be made to the hospitals,
worked out on the basis of 1938, would have given them in that year a payment
of 6,500,000. There is a further factor. In 1938 the voluntary hospitals received
for public services, almost entirely from local authorities, something like 900,000.
That is in addition to the 5,300,000 to which I have referred. In substitution
of this sum of 900,000, it is proposed that they shall receive from the joint
authority, with whom they will be in contract, the service payment referred to on
page, 23 of the Paper, which will certainly be far larger than 900,000. In addition
to these two provisions, there is a third factor. The Government, as is stated in
the Paper, will most certainly ,be prepared to review the question of financial
assistance in respect of teaching work at the teaching hospitals. The financial
side is to that extent very fully provided for. If, as I believe, the voluntary
scheme contributors were not merely paying an insurance premium but were paying
to' maintain a system in which they believed and to which they were attached;
taking into account, too, the fact that there will surely be scope for the develop-
ment of contributory schemes on other bases, and that there will be gifts,
subscriptions and legacies which have for generations been given to the voluntary
hospitals, I cannot believe that the anxiety which has been shown is really

Regional Planning
I pass to the fifth point, on which I have noted very little disagreement-the
question of the rationalization of our hospital services and the building up of

British Speeches of the Day

hospital areas. The old conception of the local hospital is outworn. Specialization
increases, and special treatments mean special organization. We must in this
service plan a hospital system as a whole, ensuring that the people can get to the
right hospital at their time of need. So we propose an area plan, worked out
with local knowledge but submitted to my Department for confirmation. I pass
from that plan because I have heard and seen very little criticism of it.
The next point I would mention is the consultant and specialist service. There
is little in the Paper about this and there has been little discussion with representa-
tives of the consultants and specialists, for we must on this, await the report of
Sir William Goodenough's Committee. Two things only are clear to us at the
moment. There will be need for considerably more consultants and specialists
and there will also be a great need for an improvement in their distribution over
the country.
Last of the main features of the plan is the local government structure. We
have no doubt that the foundation of this scheme should be in local government.
Much is said of the renoval of functions from local authorities, but here is a new
service which will add great new duties to local government. It represents an
opportunity for an enormous advance in local responsibility, and I believe that
the scheme is an immense opportunity for those who take a deep interest in the
hospital and health services of their particular part of the country. I ought perhaps
to say a word about a major feature of this part of the scheme. The hospital
service areas will in almost every case be larger than existing counties or county
boroughs. That, too, I have hardly heard criticized, and there is no doubt that
many of those who have thought about it feel that most of the counties and county
boroughs are too small to serve as a satisfactory hospital area. In those circum-
stances we believe that the joint board as the hospital authority, which will plan
services for its area, in addition to the hospital service, is really the most reasonable
As I indicated at the beginning of my speech, this service is one about which
any of us can talk at great length. I have pointed to the main principles which we
hope will be accepted by the House so that we may go forward. We have set
our hand to a great task, which calls for courage and which calls for patience and
broad vision in many quarters. We Isk for the support of the House, because we
believe that the day when we bring this plan to fruition will be a day long to be
remembered for good in the history of the British people.
(House of Common. Debates)

Other Material Available from the
British Information Services Includes:

Britain. A monthly magazine. 10 cents a copy or $1 a year.

Information Division Circular. A fortnightly bulletin of
current background news on Britain. Free on appli-

Labor and Industry in Britain. Monthly. Free on appli-
Information papers on wartime Britain covering Taxation,
Education, Rationing, Women's Work, Industry, etc., may
be obtained free on application.

Britain Looks Ahead (Official Statements).
50 Facts about India.
50 Facts about Social Services in Britain.
The British Constitution.
Britain and the Common Pool.
Winning the Peace.
John Britain.

(All available free on application.)

For catalogue of Films available, terms of hire, etc., apply
to any office of the British Information Services.

tO w 4 a

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs