The theme of this conference is the provision of necessary information for the industrialist, the technologist, and for the business man generally. Of the importance, the vital importance, of this subject there will be no question to‐day. In the halcyon conditions of the pre‐war world our supposedly characteristic British methods in industry and commerce were perhaps sufficient. Some conscious pride in the superior quality and finish of our products, and the comfortable wealth forthcoming from our overseas investments, permitted a relatively careless enjoyment by a creditor nation of a seller's market. In the very different circumstances in which, as a nation, we find ourselves to‐day, our erstwhile light‐hearted inattention to research, methods, and markets can only lead to disaster, to our complete financial, political, and social ruin. To say this is, of course, to state what is generally known and agreed; however much the unpalatable truth of it may be evaded by ostrich‐like and fact‐cushioning gratulations upon targets achieved or quotas exceeded. Government admonitions, the directives issued by production boards and working parties, the publications of manufacturing and trade associations—these all stress the importance of factual information and emphasize the absolute necessity of studying the possibilities of new methods, and their application in improving the quality and the design of our industrial products, reducing their costs, and generally increasing their attractiveness to potential customers.
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