§ 47. Mr. Stokes
asked the Prime Minister the names of the highest authorities on tank design and production whom he consulted in the summer of 1940 as a result of which it was decided to produce the Churchill tank without trial?
§ Mr. Attlee
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has authorised me to say that he consulted the Tank Board and the Defence Committee (Supply), and in view of the circumstances at that time he personally took the responsibility of ordering production to proceed without awaiting the result of the trials, which would have meant a delay of many months.
§ Mr. Stokes
Is my right hon. Friend able to tell the House whether any member of the Tank Board at that time had had any previous experience of tanks in action before he took his seat on the Board?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Surely it is quite wrong to authorise the production of such an important munition of war as a Churchill tank without it undergoing some trials? Has it not been obvious that, in spite of the urgent need for producing tanks, the Churchill tank has not been satisfactory?