11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 22


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—Last week we in Barcelona read with the keenest interest your leading article stating that there was, or could be, effective protection against attack from the air.

On Sunday morning, without any warning whatsoever, a strongly-built five-storey house was blown completely to bits by a heavy bomb ; nothing is left except a gaping hole and a lot of rubbish in Barcelona's principal street. I do not know whether the inhabitants had gas-proof rooms, but in any case they would not have had time to enter them, nor, if they had, would their fate have been different in any particular.

Half a mile away was a home for refugee children ; warned by the first explosions, they went into their bomb-proof shelter a few seconds before the house was hit by two bombs in rapid succession. After three days of digging, seventy-six children's bodies have been recovered and twenty remain to find.

I submit, Sir, that these facts deserve the attention of the writer of your article as well as of those who read it.—Yours

[The fact that at Barcelona there was unfortunately not effective protection against attack from the air is not a proof that there never can be effective protection anywhere.—ED. The Spectator.]