BRIGHTON EMERGENCY SHELTERSGeneral.
The Borough Surveyor's report is an interesting document! He still harps on the idea that the shelters are required in the event of blitz or invasion conditions, although he has been informed both the verbally and in writing that this is not the case. He seems to base his plans on the former contingency just as much as the latter is therefore to adopt such niceties as canteens, Rest Centres, bunks etc. This, even if finance and labour made it possible, is an entirely unnecessary extravagance when one realises that under invasion conditions it is primarily a case of shelter for by no means protracted periods and where one of the forms advocated by the Ministry has been slit trenches where no such niceties are possible. Even in our well considered preparations for Nodal Points, of which they claimed to be one, no such provisions are allowed for. His statement that it was not until he had complained of the lack of co-operation on the part of the railway that any progress could be made is a distinct misrepresentation of facts as it is known that he was continuously asking the railway for more and (sic)
they had already stated that they were prepared to allow and it was more than the Ministry's required. His last paragraph that the responsibility for "any further delay" occasioned will not rest with the local authority is interesting in view of the fact that he was instructed clearly, as long ago as November, to get ahead with the scheme outlined by Miss Ellen Wilkinson, and the first proposals submitted to us had not been received until the 10th February!
The item shown in your statement "work to complete programme" for 6,115 persons, amounting to £30,000 and for which the type of shelter has not yet been settled, should definitely remained untouched until the work indicated below has been completed, unless it is possible only to continue a small portion of that programme without detriment either financially or to the labour question to the works now under consideration.
In a letter dated 17.2.42. from Sir Harold Scott to Mr. Shawcross, he particularly asks
(1) that the works on the Kemp Town Tunnel should be got ahead with and that it should be confined to such work as can be completed without causing interference with the Railway Company's use of the tunnel. (There is an insinuation in paragraph 4 of the Borough Surveyor's report that the tunnel would be used for shelter prior to the arising of an emergency.)
(2) that Brighton should be discouraged from using Andersons for centering for concrete shelters on account of the difficulty of materials and that this work should be deferred indefinitely, especially as he is not yet in a position to state to what extent he can meet your demand for 750 Anderson shelters in view of the requirements of 'A' Nodal Points.
Sir Harold Scott omits all reference to surface shelters and does not presumably suppose that we are submitting any proposals for them; if and when they are they will definitely be turned down.
Turning to the various sub-heads of the report:-Kemp Town Tunnel
They should be told definitely to get ahead with this work at once subject to the following conditions:-
Bunking should be postponed temporarily at any rate in view of the M. of H's remarks about shortage. Their remark that the proposals are too elaborate and expensive to be justified needs further clarification. In fact I very much doubt the necessity for bunks at all in view of the emergency conditions, under which the tunnel will be used.Track and Lighting.
I quite agree with the M of H and the Borough Surveyor should be informed accordingly.Ventilation.
There is no necessity for the vertical shaft suggested. It may be assumed that occupation is not likely to be "prolonged".D. Macfarlane