20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 3

The Welfare of the Troops With autumn approaching and winter

not far ahead, and troops on service all over Britain in numbers exceeding any- thing before • known in this country, it is gratifying to hear of measures which are being taken to provide for the welfare of the men. It is reported that in the Northern Command a welfare officer has been appointed in every county and every riding, and that it will be his duty to pro.mote close social contacts between the troops and the civilian population. In the last war the greater part of the troops were overseas, but in this they are living under war conditions among their own people, and though they must still necessarily be living lives somewhat apart under military discipline, there are abundant oppor- tunities for ameliorating their lot. The welfare officers and civilians co-operating with them. are able to organise concerts, dramatic performances and other entertainments for the benefit of the troops; local authorities in some places have provided cheap tram and 'bus fares; and the passing motorist is en- couraged to offer lifts. Private hospitality also can be offered to Service-men, and it is especially welcome to men of small units situated in lonely stations. The ordinary citizen is not likely to forget that the welfare of the troops is not a matter for the welfare officers only, but for all who have a house to open or some practical service to render.