30th January 1943

High wind.  Had quite a struggle to get into town.  Clouds flying over, huge masses, every now and then releasing sudden sharp showers of hail and rain.

Extraordinary story about the Maldon War Agricultural Committee. They apparently appointed a farm-foreman, who in due course was found to be unsuitable.  The whole clumsy machinery to dismiss him was put in motion, and some time later the necessary authority was received from the Labour Officer to dismiss him.  When this was done, the man appealed, and the appeal was heard by a tribunal of the Man Power Board.  This tribunal, without the slightest knowledge of the true facts of the case, ruled that the man was in the right and should not be dismissed.  Maldon Committee bowed to this ridiculous decision, and agreed among themselves to employ the man as a ganger; he again appealed, and the Man Power Board ruled that this decision referred to his job as a farm foreman, and as a farm foreman he must remain.  As he is quite unsuitable for the work, the Maldon Committee have now had to give him six months holiday, with pay, in order to keep him off the farm.  Moreover, they are compelled to let him remain in the foreman’s house.  Can the insanities of the Man Power Board go much further?  I honestly believe there is no perverse piece of lunacy which they would not do.  The men and women chosen for these Boards are mostly Civil Servants, quite ignorant of the most elementary knowledge of industries and labour and all of them quite drunk with the vast power over their fellow creatures which has been put freely into their hands.  There is no appeal against any of their decisions, however wildly stupid they may be.

It was a member of the Colchester Board who lodged at Nurse Horwood’s, opposite my Mother’s, who refused to stay there when he found he had to have meals at the same table as two gangers working on Langham aerodrome.  It was too, the Colchester Board which took away Pulford’s lorry driver and put him with Wright’s, so that in order to get his work done Pulford had to hire Wright’s lorry with his own driver!  Can insanity go further?

Thought I was on duty tonight, and made all arrangements, but when I got to the Castle I found Simons there instead, so cycled out to Lawford just after 9.  Bright starlight, but could not see the comet which is now approaching the Great Bear. 

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