20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 2

Bomb-proof Shelters

The A.R.P. Co-ordinating Committee has once again been pressing on Sir John Anderson the policy of building deep steel and concrete bomb-proof shelters which long ago were advo- cated by Professor J. B. S. Haldane. The Committee is con- vinced that all the difficulties in the way of rapid construction can be overcome if national resources in man-power and materials are properly allocated. It must be obvious that the difficulty of getting such shelters constructed now on a large scale is far greater than it was when first asked for in August, I938. The use of labour and materials at this juncture would be in competition with the very labour and materials which are most needed for other defence purposes. What is more urgent, and the minimum that is necessary, is the construction of a sufficient number of good blast-proof shelters which will pro- vide both comfort for sleeping hours and accommodation for working hours. None the less, if deep shelters had been put in hand two years ago, we should have them by now. And the war may last two years yet. Meanwhile more imperative is the provision of moderately safe shelters where workers can con- tinue their work during air-raid warnings, so that a few raiders overhead cannot have the effect of suspending activity. But this is not to say that the completely bomb-proof shelter should not be constructed wherever possible.