6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 4


FOR an imaginative man Mr. Churchill shows himself surpris- ingly unimaginative in the periodical reshufllings of his administration. New men are rarely brought in—despite the clamant need of them—and a few major changes are accompanied by a general, and to all appearance, purposeless stirabout in the lower ranges. In the latest example of the process Lord Beayer- brook becomes Minister of Production, as it was natural, and on the whole desirable, that he should, and the relations between that office, the Ministry of Supply, to which Sir Andrew Duncan returns, and the Ministry of Labour, are still to be defined. Among the lesser appointments is that of Mr. Noel Baker, who probably possesses the best brain on the Labour benches next to Sir Stafford Cripps (who gets no office at present after all), to be Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of War Transport. Mr. Baker, who has a comprehensive knowledge of foreign and Com- monwealth affairs, would have filled the vacancy at the Colonial Office (for which Mr. Harold Macmillan is preferred) admirably. Why, apart from his general ability, he is sent to the Ministry of Transport is a baffling question ; perhaps as a former Cambridge and Olympic runner he is considered an authority on rapid locomotion. However that may be, his promotion is well deserved and overdue.

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