Wrote to Maitland, for his birthday on the 4th. Snow during morning, making the roads very dangerous, so I had a lot of trouble getting hay down to Bourne Mill. While I was at Port Lane, about half past 4, a few planes came over, going East. I could not see them, but in a moment or two hooters and whistles were blowing at Paxman’s, work stopped, and the men went to the shelters. Most stood on top of the man-holes, laughing and talking. A few minutes of this, and a buzzer sounded, whereon they all went back. Obviously this warning must have been given by their own “spotters”. No sirens sounded at all, though I expected them to.
Far be it from me to urge the making of munitions designed to murder and mutilate innocent persons, but if this which I saw is the common practice all over the country, no wonder the Government are worried about production. We are told in the press day after day that brave Britons continue work after sirens until their own works spotters report danger to be likely, but here is Paxman’s acting without the general public having received a warning. As I said at the time of the Old Heath Road bombing, last October, it is really only the ordinary citizen who is in danger. Most other people are very well protected.
Munition workers are very well-paid, and if they can stop work while enemy planes are about, surely soldiers can do the same thing, especially as they get less money. (There have been several letters in “Picture Post” lately referring to the lack of interest in the war among soldiers, a thing I have noticed myself). I believe all post-office workers get private warnings about enemy aircraft as well.
Still snowing hard.