The first meeting of the new Air Board, its 32nd overall, took place today under its new President, Lord Cowdray, the Liberal industrialist, who has insisted on working without a salary.
The Board has modified the War Cabinets proposals of 22 December 1916 and agreed that the Air Board, and not the Ministry of Munitions, should be responsible for design. All the departments concerned agreed to the proposal that the Board should select the designs of aeroplanes and seaplanes with their engines and accessories. The Board has also agreed to decide the numbers to be ordered and their allocation between the two services, while the Ministry of Munitions will undertake production and inspection during manufacture.
The officers and staff previously engaged at the Admiralty and War Office on design and supply and on the Board of Invention and Research are to join the Air Board or Ministry of Munitions. As, at this time, a great number of the engines and aircraft on order are of Government design, and the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, where the designs are prepared, will be taken over by the Ministry of Munitions.
Not only this, but is is hoped that the move of the Air Board to the Hotel Cecil, where it will share space with the representatives on the Board of the Ministry of Munitions (William Weir and Percy Martin) and the military and naval air executives.
The Board will now set about preparing a new constitution in time for its next meeting.