10 JULY 1941, Page 20

My American Diary. By Sir Walter Citrine. (Routledge. is.) SIR

WALTER CITRINE'S great influence in the English Trade Union movement gives a special interest to his record of his journeys in the United States, which he visited as a representative of the T.U.C. He was there in the winter of 1940-41, and delivered many speeches, chiefly for the purpose of informing his audiences about the views of industrial Labour in Great Britain. His diary shows that he was well received. He met chiefly the leaders of the more conservative or traditional Labour organisations in the United States in the American Federation of Labour ; and he occasionally Makes a note in his diary of his opinions of men and of political tendencies. Much of the diary, -however, is taken up with a description of the busy round of a travelling speaker. There are some sketches of interesting men, as in the description of the visit to Mayor La Guardia's office and some notes on aeroplane construction. The book ends with a general review of the Labour situation in the United States, and the whole forms a good record of observations made at the beginning of the American change-over to a war-time mentality. Evidently the author felt that there was a danger in the United States Of supposing that good intentions and grandiose plans would pro- duce the instruments of war, like rabbits out of a hat. It is to be hoped that Sir Walter's work in America may have done something to speed up the actual production of the instruments of war.