6 FEBRUARY 1948, Page 5

Is the battle for National Parks won after all? It

has been a long enough battle in all conscience, but the Hobhouse Report, with its recommendations for a National Parks Commission, and local National Parks Committees to look after each park area, seemed to have settled the matter finally. The Commission would decide general principles and the Committees would carry them out. But are the Committees to be given that power? I hear disturbing rumours of a disposition to leave everything or nearly everything, to the local authorities, which may have desires and interests running clean counter to true National Park conceptions, and which certainly

would take no direction from any National Parks Commission. This would mean throwing the Hobhouse Report out of window, which would on the face of it be deplorable folly. I can see some case against curtailing the powers of local authorities, but the case against varying the Hobhouse Report recommendations seems to me overwhelmingly stronger.