It is regrettable that it has not been realized that there is some similarity between the present position of the United States and that of England at the time of its Sandys case flurry about the delay in the delivery of arms. England did not dream that it was as unprepared for war as was later revealed. It had no inkling of how it was suffering from a dangerous slowness in production of all types of arms and from a lack of supplies and of organization. It is not inconceivable that such a desperate situation was a primary cause of what has happened in Europe in the last few months.
Though three thousand miles separates us from Europe's sore spots, in contrast with England's one hundred miles, our milder degree of unpreparedness nevertheless warrants close attention. First, during the Fall, the various maneuvers of the Army revealed a scarcity of anti-aircraft equipment, of different types of mobile guns, as well as insufficient guns to protect the coast. The production, or at least distribution of new rifles to soldiers has been slow. Second, it has just been admitted by Admiral Leahy that completion of some of the ships for the Navy has been held up due to lack of materials, to changes in plans during construction, or to dissatisfaction with newly completed ships. The result is that both parts of the country's defense forces are to be greatly delayed in consummation. And now Secretary Woodring has called the Panama Canal defenses inadequate.
That this delay is not as formidable in scope as England's may be due to the fact that the United States has not as yet intensified its campaign for increased defense. If proper attention is not given to seeing that armament is completed on schedule, a serious disorganization may occur. Such confusion and unpreparedness can do nothing but harm to the country. As long as the United States has rightly or wrongly set upon the course of vigorous rearmament, it should see in England's position a warning of the dangers of falling behind in production for defense.
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