From todays Daily Telegraph Letters page Re: Gas test guinea pigs Date: 24 March 2003 Sir - It is reassuring to know that the finest traditions of the forces are being maintained in the current conflict. Stewart Payne reports (Mar 21) that, after a bombing alert, during which our troops were sent to their respective shelters wearing protective suits, "two RAF junior ranks were sent outside to slip their fingers under the seal of their respirators to check the air". Presumably, if they did not return the rest of the troops would stay suited and safe. Even if we as a nation are so impoverished that we cannot afford to supply our forces with meters to test the air, surely we can afford some canaries in cages. Lions led by donkeys springs to mind. But then one supposes that, given the maintenance problems with some of their equipment, donkeys may after all have their uses. From: Mike Pilley, Egerton, Kent Personally if I was doing it for real I would probably be creating a few vapours of my own!!