The administrative process today is highly complex. Yet few books delve beneath the framework of British government institutions to reveal the administrative machine at work. An exception was the Royal Institute of Public Administration's first volume of case studies written by Professor F.M.G. Willson. This second volume in the same series provides further glimpses into how government departments carry out their responsibilities.
The two studies have features of special interest. The provisions of a better network of roads and motorways is now a matter of great public importance. The Wentworth By-Pass, in dealing with the acquisition of land, gives an insight into the detailed negotiations which have to be carried out, and the conflicts between private and public interests which have to be settled satisfactorily before the work of construction can begin.
New Standards of Accommodation for the Crews of Merchant Ships is concerned with the application in the United Kingdom of the terms of an International Convention. It demonstrates the difficulty of drawing up an International Convention in terms which are appropriate to the circumstances and customs of different parts of the world, and it provides an illuminating example of the process of consultation in which the British Government engages in the drafting of the Regulations.