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Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XVIII No 203 JANUARY 1946 whole to maintain by public ownership, services which are only used by a few." Thus British Government-owned commercial aeroplanes are to be WO months ago we made certain comments on the British Govern run on lines analogous to a municipal tramway undertaking providing ment's plans for civil aviation as outlined in a speech in the HOUSE OF cheap travel for workers. LORDS by the MINISTER OF CIVIL AVIATION, LORD WINSTER, on November 1, 1945. Among our criticisms was th e inevitable delay that A Dangerous Precedent would be caused by the decision to impose State Ownership on the three This is in striking contrast to the statement in the earlier White Paper air transport organizations that had been proposed by the previous issued by the National Government that the British shipping lines, who Government eight months earlier. Our forebodings have been proved by were to be primarily responsible for the South American route, "have events to be only too well founded, though we freely confess that we never expressed their willingness to risk their own capital in operating the route envisaged such unconscionable delay as is in fact occurring. without subsidy." It seems inevitable that if one Government reverts to the principle, The Belated House obtaining between the two wars, of subsidizing air transport, sooner or It was not until December 20 tha t the Government issued the promised later other Governments will be forced into the same position, so far as White Paper setting forth its proposals in more detail; though actually it international routes are concerned. From this it is but a step to th e state of differs only from the previous White Paper issued in March, 1945, in affairs—so cleverly exploited by Germany with the Lufthansa—when incorporating the changes which had already been clearly outlined by commercial air services are again used as a disguised form of armament LORD WINSTER in his speech. Why it should have taken seven weeks to re race. So th e wheel begins to turn in the bad old way. write the White Paper nearer to the new Government' s heart's desire we Even apart from this very real danger, it is rate-cutting of the most cannot imagine. We venture to say that we, or anyone sufficiently in blatant order. If British overseas services arc, through Government terested, could have effected this simple task in a single day. But this is subsidies, to carry passengers at rates which are wholly uneconomic, by no means the whole of the delay. Those concerned are being given a manifestly all other countries will be forced to do the same unless they further four weeks to digest the information before the proposals are discussed in a debate in the HOUSE OF COMMONS scheduled—we are per are to be squeezed out of existence on these routes. We can imagine force writing before the event—to take place on Januar y 24. After which, nothing more calculated to foster ill-feeling between Britain and, for we understand, legislation to put the new scheme into force will have to instance, America where the Government has steadfastly set its face be introduced into Parliament. against subsidizing air lines. We view this incursion of the British Government into the realms of commercial transport with the gravest concern, as it seems inevitably Vital Months Lost destined to lead to international rivalries beside which the rate-cutting It will, therefore, presumably, be well into February before there can 'wars' of the trans-Atlantic shipping lines will pale into insignificance. be legislative authority for a start on setting up the new organization. So that, in sum, it will be at least a year from the time when the original Jet Propulsion White Paper was produced in March, 1945, before British Civil Air OM E disappointment may have been felt by ou r apparent neglect of Transport can begin to operate on a planned basis—or, if it be preferred, the subject of jet propulsion since we published a full translation of nearly six months from the time when the present Government made up its Sthe exhaustive German survey of preliminary research and experi mind what it was going to do . Meanwhile, we understand, the negotiations mental work in our February, 1942, issue, save for the brief incursion of between the Shipping Lines and various South American Governments, MR . CLEAVER'S comparison of power-plant efficiencies—the reverbera which were nearing completion, are suspended—among a host of matters tions of which still sound in this issue in the form of a letter from Holland which are still waiting on events. So muc h for LORD WINSTER'S protesta —in June last year. tion that the change of policy would entail n o delay in getting the services We were, of course, as is now beginning to appear, holding our hands going. until detailed information of a sound technical character should become available. This time is just arriving and we hope from now on to devote Reversion to Type adequate space to both the scientific and technical aspects of this im portant development. As readers will know, we have never attempted to One foreboding to which we gave expression on the strength of a casual phrase, thrown in as it were by chance, in a single sentence con be 'topical'; deeming it rather our part to watch the world passing by tained in the MINISTER'S address to the Peers, has proved only too well from a little distance, biding our time for a suitable moment to step founded. In the new White Paper the Government definitely commits down into the arena of current events rather than attempt to cater with itself t o a policy of subsidies. Under the heading Subsidies, "H.M.G.," it up-to-the-minute 'news' of inchoate developments. says, "recognize . . . that if air transport is to fulfil its function of pro An Historic Occasion viding services in the public interest, some measure of State aid may b e necessary to support essential but unremunerative services . . . profits However that may be, this issue sees the conclusion of the most will accrue to, an d deficits will be borne by, the Exchequer. During an interesting detailed description of the Jumo jet engine, for which we have initial period . . . any direct subsidy assistance will take the form of already expressed our thanks to POWER JETS LTD., and the start of deficiency grants. . . . When experience has been gained under stable DR . ROXBEE COX'S important WRIGHT BROTHERS lecture read last month conditions, it is proposed to base any direct assistance from the Exchequer before the INSTITUTE OF THE AERONAUTICAL SCIENCES. The venue for this on a system of agreed estimates of costs and revenues which would be definitive staking of the British claim to its unassailable position in th e subject to annual review." A definition of the expression "in the public development of the new method of propulsion was admirably chosen; interest" is presumably to be found in the phrase in LORD WINSTER'S much as we may individually regret not having had the opportunity of speech, quoted in our November issue, that air transport is "to serve listening t o it in person. I t is a n outstanding contribution to the history of people in all levels of society". Indeed, in a speech before the Royal the jet engine, which will stand for all time as a memorial to British Empire Society on January 16 he amplified the phrase in the following engineering genius. The lecture contains a mass of information, much of words: "Air transport must be developed not only for the use of Govern which has not hitherto been revealed and we are sure that it will be ment officials, the representatives of big business and the rich, but for all returned to for reading and re-reading in years to come. In spite of the the people. It is of little use telling a miner that India is now only 16 amount of precious space which it will occupy in this and the succeeding hours away. We must enable him t o go there. Air transport must enable issue of AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING we feel that its manifest importance the people of the world to get to know one another ; in this way it will be makes it essential that it should be made available as a matter of record an effective weapon of peace. Moreover, we cannot ask the Natio n as a in these pages. January, 1946
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1946
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