20 FEBRUARY 1953, Page 17


A National Distress Fund?

Sta,—As a band of men who meet regularly for the sole purpose of finding ways and means ot helping those in need whether they are far or near, the Samaritan League naturally sent a small donation to the Lynmouth Disaster Fund. We have also sent a gift to the Lord Mayor's Fund for the flood victims. However, we are wondering whether it is possible to transfer money from one of these funds to another. If so, surely this is an occasion when a transfer should be effected. If it is not possible to do this, may we put forward the following suggestion ? Is it not possible to open a National Distress Fund which will be designed. to cover all such national emergencies ? Whenever a major disaster occurs, whether in the mine or at sea or on the coast or anywhere else, an appeal may be made for dona- tions to this central fund.

By adopting such a course, several advantages will accrue. It will mean that a fund will already be in existence and that instant help can be given to the distressed. It will mean that the question as to whether and how and by whom a fund should be opened will not arise. It will mean that one fund only need be administered instead of several separate funds. It will also abolish the anomaly of non-transferable credit-balances in those separate funds. It will not lessen public generosity but most probably enhance it if it is widely understood that all money sent to the National Distress Fund are instantly made available if ever, whenever and wherever a major disaster occurs.— Yours faithfully,


40 Middlefield Road, Hoddesdon.