UNLIKE Paul Naylor (Letters, October 31, 'Looking after our own first) I am not troubled by reports about the settlement of Syrian refugees in this county. Rather, I am encouraged by it.

Mr Naylor is no doubt correct when he writes of a rise in homelessness and poverty among local people. No one should be surprised about that after ten years of austerity. But that should not prevent us from offering sanctuary to refugees: people who are, by definition, likely to suffer persecution, imprisonment or even death if they return to their own country.

Whatever problems we face as a country now, they are less than those faced at the end of the Second World War, when Britain was bankrupt, bomb-damaged and exhausted; yet Cumbria took in 300 Jewish children who had survived the Holocaust: an action which is surely recognised by history as a generous and humanitarian gesture.

Britain was renowned in the past for its fair-mindedness, courage and hospitality, and I for one feel happy that, in offering resettlement to Syrian refugees, we show that at least the embers of those qualities are still part of our nation’s character.

That’s the sort of country I want to belong to, and I feel entirely happy that Cumbria has played its part in this.

Mr Naylor says there should never be people without a safe place to sleep in the UK. I agree. And but for us, these refugees would have no safe place to sleep anywhere.

Richard Daly