Kent: Our Century by the People Who Lived It
A record of 100 years' history as reported by newspapers of the Kent Messenger
Compiled by George Ward & Paul Francis edited by Brian Paine
To warn or not to warn
Distrust of the nanny state is nothing new. In May air raid warnings came
under criticism for causing more problems than they might solve.
"The Mayor of Maidstone (Councillor G. Foster Clark) on Monday morning
received a deputation from the Trades Council on the question of air raid
"Acting as spokesman Mr Hogbin explained that the deputation was
appointed at the last meeting after the first mysterious warning by siren
was given, but before the explanation of the warnings was issued on behalf
of the Council.
"They were, therefore, the speaker admitted, somewhat in a dilemma,
but he took the opportunity of expressing his personal view that warnings
were calculated to bring people into danger rather than otherwise, (such
was the natural curiosity of the Britisher), and that in themselves warnings
were a source of grave distress to the nervous and afflicted.
"The Mayor said that he, too, was also in a difficulty, for frankly
the deputation had no policy to put forward, nor were they there expressly
to seek information.
"Mr Hogbin said admittedly the situation had been altered by the
official notice, but at any rate the Trades Council thought it of sufficient
importance to appoint a deputation, and he as an individual thought it
one of those subjects on which the townspeople might be directly consulted.
"As to that, he inquired whether the giving of a warning was optional
on the part of the Council or not.
"The mayor pointed out that in a time of danger the local governing
authority was bound to take action on many questions on its own responsibility.
The affairs of a town could not be kept in a state of suspended animation
while the community was consulted."