provided to give protection to those who live in vulnerable
areas and cannot be expected to provide them for themselves.
These steel shelters will give adequate protection against
splinters, blast and falling debris. A first order for 100,000
tons of steel for these shelters has already been placed, and in
the course of the next few weeks we expect to begin the
distribution of shelters in some of the most vulnerable areas.
** Further progress has also been made in working out the
plans for evacuation from our large, congested cities. If
evacuation is to be carried out effectively it must be done in an
orderly manner, and I think it will be generally agreed that
we must consider the children first. Accordingly, the Minister
of Health has asked the local authorities concerned to make a
comprehensive survey of the accommodation available for the
reception of children and, where necessary, their mothers,
and to ascertain which householders are able and willing to
receive them. This work is now proceeding rapidly, and
meanwhile we are examining the possibility of making use of
camps to supplement the other accommodation available.
" In all these plans we shall take fully into our confidence
the authorities on whose co-operation we are relying, and,
except where matters cannot be made public without prejudice
to the national safety, we shall disclose fully our revised plans
for civil defence to all who would be affected by them.
" I have devoted the greater part of my remarks to-night to
foreign affairs and defence because these are the subjects which,
as it seems to me, are uppermost in the public mind. But I
cannot help once more registering my regret that it should be
necessary to devote so much time and so vast a proportion
of the revenue of the country to warlike preparations instead
of to those more domestic questions which brought me into
politics, the health and housing of the people, the improve-
ment of their material conditions, the provision of recreation
for their leisure, and the prosperity of industry and agri-
culture. None of these subjects is indeed being neglected,
but their development is necessarily hampered and slowed up
by the demands of national security.
" Thinking over these things, I recall the fate of one of the
greatest of my predecessors, the younger Pitt. His interests
lay at home in the repair of the financial system and in domestic