ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Avro-748 Flops.

Our Delhi Letter from Volume XIII, No. 17, April 29, 1961. 

Though army promotions still generate the maximum of heat, as evidenced in the last Parliamentary debates, this is not what is going to embarrass the Defence Minister seriously. What may and should are the disturbing deve-lopments in the field of defence production. …For the past two years, a controversy has been raging in Government circles whether to go in for Avro or Lockheed air-craft for the commercial lines. …The Avro muddle has brought into lime-light the economics of defence production and its scope. …[T]he Defence Ministry is building “an empire within an empire”. True[,] the “defence life line” of the country should not be entrusted to monopolists and the defence requirements, as far as possible, should be met from the Defence Ministry’s own establishments. But there is hardly any justification for Defence enterprises to un-dertake the production of non-essential com-modities like hair clippers, pressure cookers and small cars which are already being pro-duced in the country. The Defence Ministry is also insisting… on setting up its own aluminium and special al-loy steel plant [and] showing an interest in [the] production of teleprinter also. As these projects are only to meet defence require-ments, production will be on a small scale… [and hence] un-economic. …Unfortunately the atmosphere is so viti-ated at the moment that even a dispassionate analysis of the situation in Defence produc-tion will expose one to the charge of being ei-ther anti-Menon or pro-Menon. And for this, Menon’s critics more than his provocative, controversial personality, are to be blamed.

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