12 JANUARY 1940, Page 6

I hear of a very interesting move made by that

valuable and enterprising body, the Rockefeller Foundation in America, which has initiated a project for the recording and documentation in film form of the social impact of the war on British democracy. The question of the effect of the war on democracy in this country is of obvious im- portance, quite apart from the film end of it, and it is for- tunate that the inquiry is largely in the hands of organisa- tions so alert as the Film Centre, responsible for so many brilliant documentary films in the past, and P.E.P. Under what heads should the social impact of the war on British democracy be discussed? Three have been definitely decided on: (a) evacuation ; (b) rationing, nutrition and the nation's food supplies ; and (c) (obviously of the first im- portance) the preservation of cultural life. A fourth is likely to be the study of public opinion, involving, I imagine, activities in a field in which Mass Observation and the British Institute of Public Opinion are already at work. While the plan is of purely American inspiration, its execu- tion will be of considerable interest, and of considerable value, in this country.