13 MAY 1943, Page 2

Planning—by Instalments

When Mr. W. S. Morrison moved the second reading of the Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Bill he made no claim to be introducing more than a first instalment of reform ; and if this Bill takes us a very short way along the road to national planning it is only fair to Mr. Morrison personally to remember that his Ministry is a new one and that he has not been in charge of it long. The object of his Bill is to compel all planning autho- rities throughout England and Wales to undertake planning, and it makes various provisions to control development in the interim period between the passing of a resolution to plan and the statutory adoption of a plan, and confers certain overriding powers on the Minister. This is all to the good so far as it goes. Preparations for planning must be begun everywhere, and mischief is to be prevented, within certain limits, in the interval. None the less we arc impatiently awaiting the next stages, for how can authorities and take planning until they have the information which will enab them to plan? They may assume that they will have suflici powers of purchase, but there is as yet no statutory provision guarantee that. What financial aid are they to expect from Government? What principles of compensation will be adopt Does the Government intend to make provision for the natio acquisition of development rights, or for levies in respect of increas values for which money for compensation would be available? h due to Mr. Morrison to say that he takes a broad view of functions, and that he has to set to work on a vast task which Government has been slow in approaching. But it is time for so governing decisions about the main principles of the Uthwatt repo