18 JULY 1931, Page 15

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—I live on the

banks of a river which overflows from time to time with disastrous consequences to adjacent lands. Recently some thousands of hens were drowned and much agricultural produce destroyed.

The flooding is due to weak and insufficient banks plus bottleneck bends and blocked channels. The river course could be made safe and sufficient with very little expenditure in the shape of actual material. The cost of labour is the real difficulty.

Within a 'bus ride there are hundreds of able-bodied men drawing the dole, many of whom would be only too glad of an interest in life and would welcome exercise in the open air, whilst those who prefer money for nothing would be the better for some such healthy discipline.

Is it beyond the wit of those in authority to devise some scheme whereby those who want work and work that wants doing should be brought together ?

I will undertake to say that local knowledge and local organization would be gladly placed at the service of the authorities in order that the work might be done in the best possible way at the least possible expense.

Scattered throughout the country there must be many such instances where natural improvements could be made which require little more than practically unskilled labour, and by using the unemployed for this purpose the country Would receive some small return for the money expended in relief and a number of men would be saved from the deterior- ating effects of prolonged idleness.—I am, Sir, &c., H. L. FOSBROOKE.

The Vicarage, St. Michaer s-on-Wyre, Lancashire.