Blagdon, 3 November 1939
Evacuation of the schools, L.C.C. plan, started in a blast of self praise: “England the only country to have a plan on huge scale ready – carried through without one hitch.” That didn’t last long. You can imagine the complications from landing the slums upon the country; mothers separated from their children; verminous children landed upon middle class spinsters; slum women complaining of the awful “silence” of the country: “give us dear old London and we won’t mind the bombs”. Many of them returned to London at their own expense after being evacuated at Government’s expense. This has now reached huge proportions. Blagdon cottagers groaning under children throwing food about the floors, etc. Upper class people writing to “Times” snootily that the children weren’t even “house trained”. When the village evacuation officer (a local farmer) called here, we had no spare bedroom but he said “They are to sleep on the floor”. Ours are stone floors! I moved from bed to sofa to make room for evacuee; only to find the train had taken the Blagdon ones to Cornwall by mistake. Thankfully I went back to my bed....
The test of Russian intentions seems to me to be whether they will use force in Finland or not. With the Baltic countries in their hands and Dagö and Osel, there seems no justification for large demands on Finland. Far less for demands for Aaland. Or demands on Sweden .
Malleson, Constance [aka O'Niel, Colette], Letter, 3 November 1939