28 JUNE 1940, Page 11

An Indiscreet Soldier A Local Defence Volunteer, while on duty,

is under the same obligations and has the same powers as a member of His Majesty's Forces ; when off duty these powers relapse. Recently I gave a lift to a private soldier in my car ; as a Defence Volunteer I was then off duty. Within three minutes this soldier, who belonged to the type which cannot keep a closed mouth for a single second, gave away the following information: the exact position of his unit, the number of men, the time at which they began work every morning and the time they returned at night. And finally, with an air of extreme importance, " I am on a special job." Before I could recover from my astonishment, he supplied the information that this was the construction of a secret line of transport communication. The casual blabbing of these highly important plans, complete with exact topographical and other details, was too much for me. I hastily set him down at the next corner. Giving lifts to soldiers in remote country places is a common thing, and many other countrymen besides myself must have met this problem of the soldier who cannot keep his mouth shut and must have wondered what, as private citizens or volunteers, they ought to do.