26 JULY 1940, Page 3

The Week in Parliament

Our Parliamentary correspondent writes: I spoke last week of agriculture and commended the new Ministers. The week ended with Food, and here again Lord Woolton and Mr. Boothby give the appearance of vitality and competence. The Ministry of Food is now a gigantic trading concern with accounts running to nearly 600 million pounds a year and it controls nearly go per cent. of the country's imports of human and animal foods: It is well, then, that a first-class business man is in charge. But Mr. Boothby has long taken an interest in Scottish agriculture, and in a more scientific approach to diet. The cheap milk scheme is good, but will need persistent publicity, the fortification of white bread with vitamin Bi will be watched with interest: the decision to take over all surplus potatoes is sheer common-sense. Mr. Clynes, as quiet and modest as ever, spoke from experience of another war, and supported the inquiry into the distributive costs of milk. Mr. Key, successor to George Lansbury, made a vigorous maiden speech on the new milk scheme ; "baker Banfield " defended the bridal iced cake. Dr. Summerskill and Mr. Adams of New- castle pleaded for cleaner milk, Mr. George Griffiths and Mr. Beaumont asked for an increased butter-ration for diabetics. To sum up, Labour Members raised a number of interesting points, but the debate failed to rise to the occasion. Benches were empty, and no commanding figure, like Mr. Lloyd George, was present to concentrate criticism.