26 MAY 1939, Page 19

Rural Posters An admirable half-dozen pages, covered with photographs, maps

and words of wisdom, have been put forth by the Lanca- shire branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. It is called "Posters and the Public." The special plea is that beautiful villages, buildings and scenes should be totally forbidden to public advertisers, and other districts should be "controlled," and no advertisement allowed except under licence from authority. The existing law ensures its own neglect by bad phrasing, as well as by its optional character. Local bodies can choose whether or no to adopt the regulation giving them power over certain forms of adver- tisement. Some do, more do not. To enforce their instruc- tions is difficult, because the phrase "seriously injuring amenity" is beyond exact interpretation. The courts do not know what amenity means, and find it exceedingly difficult to decide what constitutes a serious injury. Personally, I am inclined to think that some of the pilloried posters rather improve than disfigure some of the ugly houses and railway bridges on which they appear. Where there is no amenity there is no injury. The proposals of the Lancashire branch are the best alternative to the present regulation that have yet been published, and give an admirable basis for a new charter of preservation.