Word of new war declarations came so fast in London early in December that even the ticker became confused and ran off a bulletin reading, “Bulgaria declares war upon Bulgaria.” In that setting Major R.G. Storey of Dallas, official representative of the American Bar Association, spent two weeks studying effects of the war on English civilian life, and on the legal profession in particular. Major Storey left Dallas by plane for England November 24, and returned home Christmas Eve by way of Lisbon, Africa, South America, the West Indies, and New York City. A battalion commander in the Texas Defense Guard, he has assumed the full-time non-salaried position of director of civilian defense in Dallas County. In that capacity he has addressed a number of civic organizations, women’s clubs, and bar associations on the part to be played by civilians in the present war. “To the long, hard task ahead I am confident that the American lawyers will make a worthy contribution,” Major Storey declares. “They always have done their part in great crises. In England those who are left at home look after the absent solicitor’s or barrister’s business as well as their own, and at the same time are doing their best for their country.” Major Storey found that the English had been forced to readjust themselves both physically and professionally. Although the courts are in session only from 11 until 4 o’clock each day because of blackouts, they are endeavoring to carry on. Almost without exception, barristers and solicitors are serving in some capacity in war activity, usually without compensation. Many of them carry on their regular professional duties and serve as air raid wardens or members of the Home Guard. Members of the legal profession are in various branches of the armed forces, Mr. Storey learned. In the House of Commons when Winston Churchill declared war upon Japan, he noticed that many members of Parliament wore Army or Navy uniforms. “A most interesting development has been a recent law enacted under sponsorship of the Law Society, whereby each solicitor will be required to pay £1 per annum into a fund which will be used to reimburse any client whose funds are embezzled by a solicitor,” Major Storey recalls. “In effect, it is a guaranty to a client, similar to bank deposit insurance, that funds entrusted to a solicitor will be safe.” The number of young men coming to the bar in England has been reduced by at least 80 per cent, Major Storey discovered. Most of the young men are in some branch of active military service, although some law students are being permitted to pursue their college courses for the current year. The traditional dinners at the various Temples have been suspended. “The terrific physical damage to the Inns of Court and other buildings that are dear to the English legal profession has only served to make its members more united and determined to defeat Hitlerism,” asserts Major Storey. “I did not hear a single complaint, although the people are called upon for great sacrifices.” In attempting to explain the meaning of total war, Major Storey points out that the British have been forced to abandon the practice of rescuing German survivors of sunken ships because the Germans began sinking English boats while they were carrying on their rescue work. The Germans’ justification for their action was that it was total war. Again, the evacuation at Dunkirk was accomplished because a brigade of the finest troops of the British Expeditionary Force had been detailed to stand before two advancing divisions of German Panzers. Virtually all of the Expeditionary Force was evacuated, but that brigade perished to a man. “As we must realize, we, too, are engaged in total war, affecting civilians as well as soldiers, when the entire population is affected in some manner,” Major Storey adds; “hence, there are many opportunities for lawyers to serve. They are particularly fitted to act as members of selective service boards, civilian defense boards, fire prevention groups, arbitration commissions, property damage adjustments, and others. “Through their many public contacts and natural positions of leadership, lawyers can help maintain a high morale by constantly reminding the people that we are in a period when great sacrifices must be made by every one of us. Lawyers are more or less useless in a professional capacity in the armed forces because the demand for legal service there is virtually non-existent. On the other hand, since this is total war, in which the entire nation must be mobilized, lawyers can and will make very definite contributions to our vital defense.”
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