24 October 1916 – “Air Board Failures”

Following Lord Curzon’s report on the Air Board yesterday, The Times published a leading article on the subject today:

“Those who are best qualified to judge of the working of the Board are unanimous that there has as yet been no real solution of the ancient rivalry between its naval and its military representatives. . . . We need to fix our eyes, not on the unquestioned superiority of our airmen in these closing months of the great battle on the Somme, but on the situation as it may stand in the spring of next year. Undoubtedly the main defect in our organization is the weakness of the Air Board. Its powers were dependent from the outset on the readiness of its individual members under an independent chairman, to work together for’common ends.

It was never invested with such authority as was instantly assumed, for instance, by the Ministry of Munitions; and it was for that reason—not, as our critics supposed, from any ridiculous notion of directing air strategy from Whitehall—that we pressed for the creation of a Minister of the Air. . . . We should like to see Lord Curzon, who should know his subject by this time, insist at once upon fuller powers and abandon all his other work in order to exercise them.”

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