20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 14


Sta,—An article entiled " The Higher Bumbledom " in The Spectator of September 13th encourages me to ask for space for the ventilation of a personal experience. Of British birth and parentage, I am techni- cally an alien, my husband being of Belgian nationality. We were married in 1916, shortly after my husband's discharge from hospital as unfit for further military service: he was shot through the lung, and as a result of this wound had repeated attacks of haemorrhage. Despite this handicap he engaged in munitions work with Messrs. Vickers until the Armistice. Meanwhile I was employed at the Ministry of Munitions. Following the Peace we returned to Belgium, coming to reside in London in 1928. Our son and daughter were bora in Belgium, but have received their education almost entirely in England.

I have had eight years' business experience with a firm of world- wide repute, as well as various organising activities. Such is my record up to January last, when I obtained work as a temporary Civil Servant, operating in Liverpool. This position I held until August, when I was dismissed from the Service, under the Aliens Restrictions Act. I applied to the Home Office for " retention of nationality," only to be informed that the law only granted this to British women married to enemy aliens. My husband and son have offered themselves for service of any kind, always with the same complete lack of result, so that the position is that three people, able and more than willing to serve this country, are penalised by the " Higher Bumbledom."—Yours, &c.,