22 AUGUST 1941, Page 14


Sitt,—I am moved by a recent incident and my memory of an earlier one to ask: "Is it necessary that we should waste reams of paper and pots of paste in displaying appeals to ' Save Water '? "

In the last war I was a member of the Officers' Club at General Headquarters, Montreuil-sur-Mer. I liked to drink water with some of my meals there. I found it difficult to obtain. I suggested that it might be put on the table so that I could help myself without troubling the unwilling waiter. A special meeting was called to con- sider the proposal. The Brigadier in the chair, regarding me as an Oliver Twist, asked with outward tolerance and veiled sarcasm if I suggested that water should be placed on every table. I said: " Yes, I thought it would be for the general convenience." " Not on mine " interposed a good-natured humorist, evoking loud guffaws on all sides—and there the matter ended. The water was saved.

In the present war I am by virtue of my occupation a member of a refreshment-club in a Government office. I find it even more difficult to get water. A few days ago at lunch I felt a longing for it, almost as strong as David's. I offered three different serving- maids sixpence for a glass of the precious fluid. They all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said: " If I gave it you, everybody would want it." The second said: " We have no drinking water on this floor, only domestic water." The third said: " We have no staff to fetch water." I fetched a glass of drinking water myself from the room of an unsuspecting official on the floor in question.

Today at lunch I drank an unnecessary glass of beer. Tonight I heard Sir Robert Kindersley innocently appeal to me to " save beer" Tomorrow I shall see an unnecessary appeal to me to " Save Water."

And I, like Dives, shall continue in torment. MURN A.