Despite being ordered in 1938, and no doubt with much material to hand, by 1940 Bulleid and the Southern Railway were being castigated by the wartime Ministries of Labour and Transport over what became the 'Merchant Navy' class. The Ministries took the view that they were 'de luxe express passenger locomotives', however the SR claimed that in view of the wartime situation that they would be regarded as 'mixed traffic' ones. In view of the fact that many LNER V2 2-6-2s, also with 6' - 2" driving and coupled wheels were built, it would appear that the 'mixed traffic' description won out in the end. However, bearing in mind the Ministries views of 1940 how did the LMS manage to build in 1943/4 no less than 8 'Duchesses', an obvious 'express passenger' type, with no less than 4 of them with the streamlined casing? Anyone know?