10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 6

Major-General Sir Reginald Ford may possess qualities of a wholly

superior order to all other living major-generals. I do not dismiss that possibility and am prepared to be con- vinced. But nothing less than that could explain the apparent idiocy of leaving the responsibilities attaching to the post of Chief Divisional Food Officer for London and the Home Counties to a man of 70 living in Brussels. In saying that I am not for a moment criticising Sir Reginald Ford; he did not appoint himself. It may be true that you can get from Brussels to London by air in a couple of hours or so, and the duties involved are a war-time not a peace-time job. But have they not to be studied on the spot and dis- cussed perpetually with men on the spot? Is there no one in the Board of Trade—which seems to be the Department concerned—with imagination enough to see what a handle this gives to critics who charge the Government with a com- plete failure to take the situation that threatens us seriously?