The Government and Aviation

September 29, 1925

Report Outline
Present Government Air Services
Cost of the United States Air Services
Official Aviation Studies and Investigations
Congressional Proposals for Air Department

The air policies of the Government have been a target for attack ever since its failure during the war, in spite of a billion dollar expenditure, to provide an adequate number of American aeroplanes for the use of American aviators in France. The recent Shenandoah disaster and the long disappearance of the P N-9 on its way to Hawaii brought a new flood of criticism directed chiefly against the War and Navy Departments. This criticism was especially bitter on the part of Colonel William Mitchell, former Assistant Chief of the Army Air Service. Feeling among Army and Navy officers has run high and intemperate and exaggerated statements have been made on both sides.

Accordingly on September 13, at the suggestion of Secretary of the Navy Wilbur and Acting Secretary of War Davis, President Coolidge announced the appointment of a board to make a thorough study of the whole question, to supplement studies already made by special boards of the Army and Navy and by congressional committees. The findings of this board will be available to the incoming Congress and will undoubtedly have an important effect on forthcoming air legislation and on the whole future of aviation in the United States.

The Air Department Issue

The main issue at stake is whether the aviation activities of the Government shall be scattered as at present among nearly all Government departments or shall be concentrated in a new Air Department. It is proposed that this Air Department be grouped, together with the Army and Navy, under a new Department of National Defense, each of the three sub-departments to be headed by an undersecretary.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Air Transportation
Civil Service
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