6 SEPTEMBER 1946, Page 2

A World Food Board

The conference of the World Food Organisation at Copenhagen has made a good beginning with the endorsement by the British and American delegates of the proposals put forward by the Director of the Organisation, Sir John Boyd Orr, for the creation of a World Food Board to equate supply and need, stabilise prices and maintain an adequate stock of essential foodstuffs against periods of shortage. This is the culmination of a project which was given its first shape at Geneva some years before the war, and the difficulties to be faced have been well thought out. It is certain that the farmers of the world can feed the world if the food goes in the right quantities where it is needed and provision is made for meeting the shortages, local or general, caused by harvest failures. Sir John Orr is perfectly right in saying that this can be achieved only on an international scale, but formidable problems of finance as well as of production and distribution have to be faced ; there can be no idea of turning the F.A.O. into a permanent U-.N R.R.A. ; and a close working arrangement between the F.A.O. and the pro- jected International Trade Organisation will have to be evolved. But in Sir John Orr's scheme there are great possibilities, not least of them in the demand for industrial goods arising from the in- creased prosperity which the scheme promises to confer on farmers. The next step should be the detailed consideration of the Orr plan by representatives of all the relevant agencies of the United Nations.