24 FEBRUARY 1950, Page 14

Un - castled Houses 1 hope the following incident is not characteristic.

There is a little old house, almost a cottage, at the edge of a village-town. The garden is large and incidentally, as I well know, a peculiar favourite of birds and squirrels. The other day two men called on the lady who owns this desirable property and started off by saying to her, " You think you own this house and garden ; but you don't—you can't do anything without leave. On the other hand we can do what we please, build a road through your garden or a line of houses." They demanded to see over the house and looked even into the cupboards. The men were not prospective thieves, but connected with the building trade. Let the particular object of the visit be ; what interested the cottage-owner was the men's gusto in asserting that one had no rights whatever as owner, that the only rights N ere those belonging to the town-planners. Now town-planning is a most desirable thing in itself and it would be a pity if it were rendered yet more unpopular than it is in country places by any insolence of behaviour in those concerned with its administration.