25 OCTOBER 1940, Page 2

The Government and Raid Shelters Mr. Morrison has taken a

decision which is certainly right and should have been taken before—that the Government will reimburse local authorities the whole cost of future contracts for the construction and equipment of shelters if reasonable economy is practised. The districts where shelters are most needed are often those where the ratepayers have been hardest hit and expenses are soaring far beyond their means. But there can be no cheese-paring in the matter of life-saving, nor is it rignt that Councils should pause to consider whether they ought to spend money on shelters which may be largely used by pasons coming from another area. The supreme necessity is to get good shelters in 'the right places with the least possible delay. It is the Government's responsibility, and the local authorities must be regarded as its agents; and the Government recognises this fact by issuing its own orders. In London, the Ministry of Home Security Ought to be content with nothing less than an exhaustive survey of the whole area, so that immediate use can be made of accommodation which can be easily adapted for the purpose of air-raid protection. The resources of the City, which is so little inhabited at night, have been insuffi- ciently explored. Within its confines are many deep basements, under strong buildings, which could be turned into admirable shelters and thrown open to passers-by by day and to the public that desires sleeping-room at night. The City has the further advantage that it is near some of the crowded and insufficiently protected regions of the East End.