21 MAY 1948, Page 4

How will Sir Charles Reid spend the leisure to which

he has con- demned himself ? I should think watching open-cast mining, for it is impossible to imagine him away from coal. He has had more than fifty years of it—in the Fife Coal Company (talked of every- where for the degree of its mechanisation),- as Production Manager at the Ministry of Fuel and Power, as Production member of the National Coal Board. A mining engineer before he was a mines manager, he knows mining processes in this country from bottom to top as probably not half-a-dozen other men do. But one thing is now required of him. Having left the Coal Board because it was doing things all wrong—a necessary but negative move—he must clearly say how in his view they should be done right. That would be a service of the highest value, and no one who has read the Reid Report can doubt its author's capacity to produce recommendations of at least equal importance in the changed conditions of today. That is more than a day's work, but I hope Sir Charles will not delay it long. It may expose him to critics, but there are few men that that would worry less.