17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 14


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—The effect of the present Economy Campaign as regards Public Works is now beginning to appear. It is clear that the Government have in contemplation not only prevention of the beginning of new works but also the stoppage of works which are under construction, even possibly in cases when these are just becoming ripe to provide extra employment. It follows, therefore, that much increased unemployment among both engineers and workmen will be the result at a very early date, unless at least those scheme which are under construction arc

left untouched. Engineers (while they fully appreciate the need for National Economy) are faced with the pleasant pro- spect of (a) having to pay increased taxation, (b) having to pay a higher rate for mere existence, and (c) having their means of livelihood removed completely. Even the teachers (who have been so vocal) are not asked to face a future of this kind.

Let me rid myself of any accusation of arriere pens& by saying at once that I make my living out of engineering, and that I shall be hit in exactly the same way. But I have means of resistance which are not available to the great bulk of a profession which is known not by its financial greed but only by its faithful public service. Finally the lot of those engineers who have been " axed " in the Colonial Services is even more deplorable than is likely to be that of engineers at home.—I am, Sir, &c., C. L. HOWARD HUMPHREYS,