Spurred both by the failure of its own production plans and the spread of German air offensive power, the Air Board decided in October 1917, with the full support of the Cabinet, to make every effort to increase the output of Rolls-Royce engines. On 17 December the firm’s representatives were invited to attend a conference, presided over by Lord Rothermere, at which Sir Arthur Duckham and Mr Percy Martin were also present. The conference decided not to make Falcon engines in other factories, and to concentrate the entire resources of Derby on increasing output of Eagles. The production of the Falcon, however, was not abandoned entirely and small numbers continued to be produced at Derby until the end of the war.1 The conference also decided to take over the Clement Talbot works for the repair of Rolls-Royce engines under Rolls-Royce supervision, and this firm started with the easier repair work with the intention of ultimately producing complete engines. In addition the Derby National Shell Factory, one of the many similar co-operative enterprises organised by local initiative in 1915, and the Dudley National Projectile factory were taken over to produce Eagle components under Rolls-Royce direction. The motor-car firm of Wolseley was also considered as an additional Rolls-Royce aero-engine plant, but the project did not materialise. This was due to the opposition both of Vickers and of Basil Johnson, who was loath to introduce Rolls-Royce methods and technique into the factory of an important competitor.
KeywordsMachine Tool Capital Expenditure Production Contract Important Competitor Arbitration Tribunal
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