12 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 5

Magnificent as the conduct of all the civilian services has

been through the ordeal of the past weeks, all the men and women staffing them are human, and a time must come when fatigue and sleeplessness have effects that are irresistible. In these circumstances the authorities, I suggest, ought to be con- sidering (as they very likely are) what further use can be made of troops. The difficulty, no doubt, is that air-raid wardens, auxiliary firemen and the rest have been made what they are by systematic training, and that soldiers not so trained could no' do the work. There might also be problems arising from the co-ordination of civil and military authority. But the Blitzkrieg is not likely to be short-lived. We should be deluding ourselves if we thought it was. There are hundreds of thousands of soldiers who are more or less standing by. It wculd seem elementary wisdom to train some of them as qu:ckly and intensively as possible with a view to relieving the Civilian services of a strain which they will obviously be unable to stand for ever. The national endurance would thereby be sastantially strengthened.