18 JUNE 1948, Page 18


Sta,—Janus's remarks on the Central Office of Information's publication Harvest Home roused my indignaticn. I cordially agree with all he says, but I have another grievance. If the Government can find paper for a description of last year's floods, why has it not printed British Rainfall since 1939 ? Until then it had appeared annually for 70 years. In 1939 it contained 5,864 records, mostly provided by voluntary observers. Pub- lication was suspended during the war, quite unnecessarily, but we were assured that our observations were prepared for publication and would appear after the war. Some time ago we were told that the records of the six war years were ready to be published in a condensed form in two volumes. I applied for them at once, but there is no sign of them. Meantime the scientific data which we have accumulated remains shut up in the files of the Meteorological Office. During the first world war the British Rainfall Organisation was a voluntary body carried on by the devoted labours of Dr. H. R. Mill and a few assistants whose numbers were depleted by the war. Yet every year British Rainfall appeared, sometimes earlier than the Meteorological Office with all its resources produced it during the inter-war years. Could there be a more striking example of the superiority of private enterprise ? As my father and I have contributed records to British Rainfall for more than half a century I feel very sore on this, point. If the C.O.I. wanted to print a record of the 1947 floods it might have included it in British Rainfall and got

this out quickly.—Yours, &c., A. E. SWINTON. Swinton House, Duns, Berwickshire.