22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 3

Evacuation Remedies

The drifting back of children to the danger zones might never have occurred if more adequate provision had been made after their first hurried transference to billets. The happy-go-lucky method of lodging and boarding adopted in September was well enough for the first emergency, but should never have been thought of as more than temporary. An expert committee of architects, surveyors and technical assistants has been reporting to the Ministry of Health that unless bold steps are taken in the reception areas evacua- tion must collapse ; and it urges that the expenditure of a sum not disproportionate to the need would provide for a complete building programme, including camp schools, new buildings for feeding, nursery schools and day nurseries. It surely ought to be recognised that the continued billeting of children on families not equipped to receive them, with little if any provision for discipline, and often to the dis- satisfaction of all concerned, is not a suitable way of pro- viding for the rising generation. The parents are obviously dissatisfied. But if suitable plans were made for their lodg- ing, board, schooling and supervision they would probably be no less willing to send their children away than are other parents who send children to boarding schools. It is no good simply blaming the parents for the drift back to the danger zone. Here is a major problem which the Govern- ment must face in earnest.