22 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 15

It is a hive, I notice, into which countless bees,

and some drones, are most anxious to enter. I have received many letters this week from the distant cousins of distant acquaint- ances telling me that they know French quite well, " could easily learn Spanish in a short time," and feel that the Ministry of Information is their spiritual home. I reply that I am not an official of the Ministry and cannot help them. A distinguished friend of mine, who also is supposed to be (but is not) in the Ministry of Information, has received so many letters asking for his influence and assistance that he has prepared a printed form. This form runs as follows :— " I am not in the Ministry of Information. If you get there before I do, I hope you will get me in. If I get there before you do, I shall try to get you in." Although we may be amused and slightly irritated, by this scramble for positions, yet in fact a raging appetite to do something is a healthy sign. I have been much struck by the fact that none of the letters I have received comes from people whose age, health, or capacity would fit them for military service. Many of the applicants have suddenly found themselves deprived of their own livelihood and are naturally anxious to obtain some other form of employment. And in nearly every letter I get there occurs the phrase " I simply cannot stand hanging about doing nothing." That assuredly is an admirable spirit * * * *