12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 19

NEW HOMES FOR OLD [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—To the questions with which Mr. Yeats .Brown has so aptly illustrated the miseries and dangers of slum life, may I add another—How would you like to live in a basement tene- ment and be flooded out from the street sewer One would like to suppose that such an experience is rare. One has only to turn to the annual reports of the Medical Officers of Health of the Metropolitan Boroughs to find it is none too rare ! More serious than the damage to the property of the occupants from saturation in the mingled storm water and sewage is the grave danger to health resulting from the foul after-effects which are felt for months.

Though some measures for the improvement of the sewerage system have been taken to prevent the recurrence of such

floodings, the London County Council has recently decided to defer the execution of further necessary schemes on account of the economic situation. Does the London County Council realize that their decision condemns basement families to the risk of further floodings ? Is it really true economy to delay the execution of schemes which are to remedy the-shortcomings and deficiencies of the sewers ? Is any delay justified in bring- ing to every London home of whatever degree at least equal immunity from the horrors and dangers of flooding from the