18 JUNE 1948, Page 3

rood for All

The proposition that an adequate supply of food is a major part of the foundation of human happiness and political stability is normally accepted passively and even with indifference. But Lord Bruce in his outstanding speech on the world food situation in the Lords on Wednesday used it, as it should be used, as the starting- 7oint for a statement of issues and policies, all precise and all urgent. 'Within the sphere of agriculture proper he called for immediate international measures to prevent infestation, to increase supplies of fertilisers and machinery and to bring new areas into use by development schemes. Such activities must entail a vast new capital expenditure, heavy demands on industry and a great expansion of international trade. Lord Bruce again reduced these all-embracing matters to immediate issues, by asserting, on the basis of information contained in the Report of the Preparatory Com- mission of F.A.O., that the capital can be found, that the co-opera- tion of private industry must be sought, since Governments alone cannot grapple with these problems, and that there must be inter- national commodity agreements to reduce the dangers of the market- ing operation. He was also prepared to press the recent decision of the council of F.A.O. to select from the hundreds of resolutions before it requiring immediate action a limited number which could oe dealt with at once. It is this ability to bring the sweeping problems of an industry which employs two-thirds of the world's working population down to the compass of practical policy, which is the main contribution made by Lord Bruce. If it overcomes on the one hand the drugging effect of pious aspirations and on the other the undoubted r_ uctance of the British Government to carry out international policies which it has endorsed, then it will put a-funda-

mental world prob back in the central place which it should occupy all the time.