Document J

Churchill’s frustration with the Air Defence Research Committee

Winston S. Churchill to Sir Kingsley Wood.

“9 June 1938

In all my experience of public offices, I have never seen anything like the slow-motion picture which the work of this Committee has presented; and I fear it is typical of a whole group of committees which have been in existence during these vital years. One could not have devised a better method of soothing this whole matter down and laying it politely in repose than the elaborate process which has been followed. It proved impossible to get any experiments upon new types of shells carried out except at such lengthy intervals on so petty a scale as to be futile.

Professor Lindemann, who has a far greater insight in this sphere than anyone I know, was very soon turned out of the Technical Committee for pressing more vigorous action.

So far as the ADR Committee is concerned, there seems to be a complete lack of driving power. The final result is that we have nothing that will be of any effective use in the next two years, when much either in war or humiliation may be in store for us all.”

Copyright Curtis Brown. Reference: Churchill Papers, CHAR 25/17/45-46