22 MAY 1941, Page 3

Previous to a debate on production energetic attempts were made

to give Regional Boards more direction and responsibility,' yet Mr. Ellis Smith and other Labour Members voiced their constructive opinions on this matter months ago. Is this the democratic process working at its highest gear or can Ministers and the Civil Service invent some more adequate machinery for anticipating problems? Sooner or later this question will have to be faced, because war has an awkward way of showing up deficiencies which are equally present in the more spacious and leisurely days of peace. Everyone knows that there have been two Secret Sessions on Economic Warfare and on Pro- duction; these two debates obviously flowed from the more general debate on the conduct of the war. The Prime Minister in answer to questions has so far refused to remodel the central Cabinet control, beyond appointing Lord Beaverbrook to be Minister of State and creating the new Ministry of War Transport. It remains to be seen whether other changes will be proved necessary.

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