REVIEWS

Publication Date01 Jul 1944
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1944.tb00980.x
NOTES OF
CASES
I
67
system of compulsory licences embracing all kinds of patents,
it
shows
that, in the public interest, anybody should be entitled to use, against
payment of
a
reasonable royalty, patents affecting national defence, public
safety or public health. Recommendations for changing the U.S.A. patent
law
in
this
way are contained in the report of the U.S.A. National Patent
Planning Commission
of
18th June,
1943.
P.
MEINHARDT.
REVIEWS
HOW
TO
REFORM
P-.
By ROBERT
S.
W.
POLLARD.
The
That political coma was characteristic of the inter-war period is now
almost
a
commonplace.
To
utter such
a
suggestion ten years ago was to
invite derision. Fashions in political outlook, as in other things, change,
and it may be hoped that the moment has arrived for indicating once more
what is needed to make Parliament into an efficient machine of govern-
ment. Mr. Pollard does this in short compass and with admirable clarity.
It
is
to be hoped that a public increasingly conscious that the working
of
the machinery
of
government needs radical overhaul will take advantage
of the useful summary of what is required,
so
far as the internal organisa-
tion of Parliament is concerned, which Mr. Pollard provides.
At the end of the last war there was this awareness.
It
was expressed
in the Conference on Devolution Report, in the classic but unimplemented
Machinery of Government Report produced by the Haldane Committee,
and elsewhere. Debate continued in the 'twenties. Ten year ago Dr.
Jennings published his study of Parliamentary Reform. Nothing has
happened in this generation of inaction if not reaction. Now is the time
to show what does need to be done, and if this means inevitably
a
recapitu-
lation of arguments and recommendations often made before, that is the
fault
of the reactionary and not of the reformer.
Undoubtedly the most important of the improvements urged
is
that
specialisation of the House of Commons into committees for the several
functions of the modern state of which Mr. Pollard too
is
in favour, as
have been most commentators on the Constitution since the Haldane
Committee made the recommendation in
1918.
A
Defence Committee
and
a
Foreign Affairs Committee might have done much to secure
a
greater unity behind a more consistent policy, to educate the House, to
keep the Government in harmony with opinion and opinion in harmony
with facts rather than wishful interpretations.
A
Colonial Empire Com-
mittee should not have been incapable of awakening both Commons and
Ministry to the needs and potentialities of our territories
as
these begin
to be seen now under the stress
of
war.
It
is certain that the real urgency of the need for such reforms of
Parliamentary organisation and procedure has not yet been understood.
At such a time as this, when much is likely to be in the melting-pot, Mr.
Pollard makes an opportune contribution. True, the reforms are of detail
rather than at the roots of our institutions,
but
they are many; and added
together they would present to
us
a very much more efficient Parliamentary
system. Anyone truly anxious for that objective can be recommended
to investigate the means
of
achieving it in the pages of this essay and in
the bibliography with which it concludes. Nor need it be forgotten that
Forum Press.
2s.
pp.
48.

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