BASQUE CAMP, EASTLEIGH.
Miss Sutherland and I visited the Basque Camp, at Eastleigh yesterday, and found that, although things were still in a very bad state of organisation, there was an apparent improvement on the previous days.
Before we visited the camp we met Mr. Rose, the Labour Agent, Mr. Jones the Plumbers delegate, and Mr. Golden, delegate of the A.S.W. Mr. Jones in particular had been employed in charge of voluntary work preparing the sanitary arrangements of the camp. The whole of the latrines and lavatories had been built on the English principle and had been approved by the sanitary inspector of the Eastleigh Town Council.
Mr. Jones had organised a pioneer squad of 8 or 10 joiners who visited the camp each evening and removed and replaced the screening, etc., for the lavatories. These gentlemen were very annoyed indeed at the chaos in the camp and the way in which voluntary labour in general was being treated. The necessary trenches had been dig up and about 5,000 feet of water pipe had been laid.
There seems to be no order whatever in the camp, and an attempt was apparently being made, now that the rough work was being done, of squeezing our people out and importing middle-class persons. Compared with the main camp, the girl-guide camp held 2,000 children and was a model. They informed us that there was not sufficient food in the camp for children on Sunday, and they searched Southampton for bread.
Last week Brinton had the preliminary arrangements and changed instructions for parcels of clothing 4 times until the women workers were exhausted packing and re-packing parcels, etc.
There was no one to control the stores.
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Copyright: Trades Union Congress. Reproduced with permission.