31 JANUARY 1941, Page 3

Billeting Problems

The report of the committee which, under Mr. Geoffrey hakespeare's chairmanship, has been enquiring into the work- ng of the Government's evacuation scheme, is an interesting nd valuable document, based throughout on the recognition t what is in question is a problem not of machinery but- of uman emotions and idiosyncrasies. It is pointed out with ustice that the position is not that a scheme which might easonably have been expected to succeed is to a large extent ailing, but that a scheme which might reasonably have been xpected to fail has to a large extent succeeded. As regards he children evacuated unaccompanied it has succeeded quite stonishingly. It is the town mother in the country cottage who onstitutes the problem, and the problem normally revolves ound one room in the cottage—the kitchen. The difficulty re is very real. Unless the evacuee is being boarded, which n the case of adults is often not so, she must use the kitchen o cook her food. That means minor clashes and collisions and 'fferences of opinion on tidiness and cleanliness, the cumulative ffect of which is not to be ignored. To some extent communal eeding-centres are a solution, but not for the inmates of cottages n the outskirts of scattered villages. Only resolute restraint nd adaptability on both sides can allay discontent on both des.