The Way of Things
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The Schneider Situation.
N0 recent action of the Government—not even excluding their proposed subsidy of opera— has called forth more hot and angry words from the Press and public as a whole than their pigheaded and unreasonable attitude in regard to our participation in this year's Schneider Trophy Contest. This well-deserved condemnation comes not only from the sporting and air-conscious section of the community, but from sound and shrewd business men, who realise that this greatestof-all aviation events is a big factor in furthering the progress and prospects of the British aircraft industry. To state the facts of the situation would be to recapitulate points that are already known ; we can but say that we, like everyone else, remain baffled as to why the Cabinet should have slammed the door in the face of the Royal Aero Club and said, in effect, " We will have nothing to do with you or your Contest." That they have declined to give any financial assistance is not altogether surprising, in view of the Air Ministry's statement to that effect in 1929. We do not expect Parliament to subsidise sport for its own sake, but the Schneider Race, whether we like it or not, has become something more than an ordinary sporting aviation fixture ; as a potent force in commercial aviation, it has proved to be something which cannot be ignored. Everyone as
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sociated with the manufacturing and sales side of the aircraft business will agree that our successive victories in 1927 and 1929 had a most beneficial effect on the industry. In short, they were a wonderful advertisement and a sound investment. Therefore, that the Government should refuse the loan, or hire, of the personnel and machines of our High-Speed Flight and thus incidentally, fail to carry out the word of our " air-minded " Premier requires elucidation. At the time of going to press, the whole matter is in abeyance, and we can only hope that British sportsmanship and our age-old ability to "muddle through" will result in our being ready by next September to make a show. It so, we stand a good chance of retaining the Trophy of the late Jacques Schneider for good.