26 MAY 1939, Page 20

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR] SIR,—I don't wish to

occupy your valuable space with further controversy with Mr. Reed on the subject of com- pulsory service for immigrants, especially as Mr. Reed is, in many ways, one of the last men with whom I wish to cross swords. flowever, Mr. Reed has raised two or three points which cannot go unanswered.

In my previous letter I said, advisedly, that the Home Office regulations were almost imacsailable because I was aware that there were cases of the sort mentioned by Mr. Reed—cases which, involving smuggling and stowaways,

are in the nature of things extremely rare. Mr. Reed's previous implication was that there were scores of such cases He now quotes two. The other point is one which I wish to make as publicly as possible. Mr. Reed speaks of the prosperous-looking crowds of aliens to be seen in Central London, and elsewhere he has spoken of the well-dressed children who arrive at the Harwich camp. It should be remembered that the Reich permits its emigrants to take with them but a few shillings. It has not, on the other hand, yet sunk to throwing them nude over the frontier. The very obvious result is that there are in London today a great many well-cut German suits with empty pockets. Mr. Reed is not the only person to be deceived by this rather curious phenomenon.

Of course, I should not like Mr. Reed to think that these people whom he dislikes so much are entirely penniless. They have their fare and cigarette pittance each week from the Relief organisations. The proof of this is that at a social gathering held this week for Central European immigrants a sum of over £5 was collected for Spanish refugees.—I am,