18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 3

Billeting Problems

The problem of billeting in reception areas throughout the country is becoming more difficult every day. In the first place, accommodation for children and expectant mothers had to be provided under the earlier evacuation scheme, and room had also to be found for those who evacuated themselves un- officially. But since the intensification of the attacks on London there has been a further and continuous exodus of People from the vulnerable areas, and parts of the staffs of some Government offices and of some businesses have also been transferred to the safer regions. The migration from London of persons who have no special reason for remaining there may be expected to continue, and already it is no easy matter to find billets in small towns and villages. But that is not all. The time is approaching when large numbers of troops must go into winter quarters, and to some extent the military and the civilian population are competing with one another for billeting accommodation. In many cases the troops can and will be quartered in barns and similar available places, or in camps constructed for use in winter. But it is to be hoped that every possible effort will be made by the authorities to increase the special accommodation for service-men. The shortage of timber may make it difficult to provide all the Nissen huts and other wooden or partly wooden structures suitable for their use, but there might be a much more ex- tensive use of specially constructed brick buildings. There are Plenty of builders still available for employment, and many brick-kilns, shut down when building programmes were stopped, could quickly be set going again.