15 February 1916 – Joint Air War Committee appointed

By this point in the war the duplication of and competition for resources between the RFC and RNAS was obvious. Public opinion is in favour of some coordination between the two air services is strong. It was advanced, and was the subject of discussion in Parliament, that there should be an Air Minister with entire control of the air services and with status equal to that of the First Lord of the Admiralty and of the Secretary of State for War.

At this point, public opinion was in advance of the feeling in Whitehall, and today the Prime Minister unveiled a different approach. He has appointed a new committee, known as the Joint War Air Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Derby. It role is to ‘to collaborate in and to co-ordinate the question of supplies and design for material for the Naval and Military Air Services’.

The committee is a strong one, its members being, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu as an independent advisor, three Admiralty representatives (Rear-Admiral C. L. Vaughan- Lee, Commodore Murray F. Sueter, and Squadron Commander W. Briggs), and two from the War Office (Major- General Sir David Henderson l and Lieutenant-Colonel E. L. Ellington), with Sir Maurice Hankey and Major C. L. Storr of the Committee of Imperial Defence as Secretaries.


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