6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 2

Soviet Views on British Industry

It has been an excellent thing in every way that the Russian trade union delegation to this country should have been able to make an extensive tour of our industrial towns, and visit large numbers of factories, mines and shipyards. They have not only been able to inform themselies about what we are doing, but they have been able to offer encouragement to the workers, and now, before they leave, to make some constructive criticisms about our methods. They have nothing but praise for the morale of the working men and women, and on the whole they are favourably impressed by the organisation of production ; but they do not hesitate to point out what they believe to be defects. Needless to say they have discovered that there are still very considerable unutilised reserves. They speak of the insufficient use of existing machines ; inadequate introduction of women; disregard in some cases of improvements that are or might be suggested by workers, including the shop stewards ; and, in some

factories, unjustified limitation of output. All of these are criticisms which have already been heard in this country. But they are just ; and if the frank re-statement of them by our experienced visitors will help to secure more attention from the Ministries concerned, that will be of great value. But it would be a great mistake to suppose that Mr. Shvernik and his colleagues are in a censorious mood. They have •been asked for their opinion, and they have given it. They have expressed their entire satisfaction with their stay in Great Britain, and all sec- tions of opinion here are glad that it has been possible to make these contacts and to have these useful exchanges of opinion at so vital a time in the Anglo-Russian alliance.