Planning for the Future


Finally, a tale of bygone times. In 1961 our government was considering staffing requirements for the secret nuke-proof bunker into which top cabinet ministers would be shunted were the cold war suddenly to turn hot. Among the 16 posts to be filled, we learn from an enchanting recently released memo, was that of welfare officer. This person, writes an unknown but surely much-missed civil servant, should be a "kindly, fairly fat, motherly sort of soul, with a broad pair of shoulders on which people can weep. She need have no welfare experience ... but should be prepared to work hard in what would undoubtedly be trying circumstances." Like, um, Armageddon, for instance.