27 MARCH 1942, Page 2

Agriculture in Post-war Europe

Sir Richard Gregory, opening the conference on the post- war reconstruction of Europe arranged by the British Associa- tion last week, drew a grim picture of the condition in which the people of the occupied countries would be left when the Germans were expelled. There would be famine and pestilence, diseases of malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and typhus—con- ditions which would make for life-long misery among the rising

generation unless drastic steps are taken. The Government have assured us that measures are already being planned for the trans- port of food to th' necessitous populations the moment the war ends. But these, even if undertaken on the largest scale. will not be enough. If the work is to be thorough means must be found to get agricultural work going again, and to see to it that the peasants are free to give their whole energy to food production. They must have seeds, live-stock, agricultural imple- ments, farm-buildings, and houses to live in, and they must have help in respect of marketing. The conference may do invaluable exploratory work in outlining a scientific plan of action. But when it has been devised, it will be necessary to ensure practical results by preparing in advance a large-scale organisation capable of dealing with so huge a task. It can only be undertaken by governments, and not one only. It will require the co-opera- tion primarily of Great Britain, the United States and Russia.