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Cathedrals as granaries

25 August 2017

August 24th, 1917.

AN OFFICIAL of the Royal Commission for Wheat Supplies makes the suggestion that cathedrals, churches, and chapels should be commandeered for the purpose of storing our grain. Commenting on this in a leading article, the Globe of Saturday added the further suggestion that the nave of St Paul’s should be used for the purpose, and expressed the opinion that the “ecclesiastical authorities would act wisely if they were to anticipate the demands of the Royal Commission, and were of their own accord to offer the use of some of our cathedrals” as storehouses. Our contemporary also remarked that “the Church has not come so conspicuously to the front during this war that her rulers can afford to neglect any chance of doing a great national service, and the spectacle of a great cathedral turned for the time being into a great granary for the benefit of all would go a long way to silence criticism which at present is becoming every day more acute.” . . . Any reasonable person would first inquire whether there are not other equally suitable places which are not in use every day by large numbers of people, as is St Paul’s, before commandeering a cathedral or a parish church. In London, for example, there are Westminster Hall, the Guildhall, and the great hall of the Law Courts — all strong and spacious buildings, used only on special occasions. Why not first fill them with grain? And, if they did not suffice, perhaps the Stock Exchange might be put to a better use than it is at present.


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