11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 12


SIR,—Your contributor Quoodle seems to be luxuriating in his career of Quoodle-faking. In your issue of December 4 Quoodle writes: '. . . I sent my press columnist the gentlest of remonstrances because he hadn't filed copy in two weeks out of three.' This is a marvellous piece of Quoodle-faking. What Quoodle calls 'the gentlest of remonstrances' was in fact the sack, as readers of the Evening Standard know. I would be obliged, sir, if you would print the letter you wrote to me. I have the greatest respect for the readers of the Spectator and would not like to have them misled as to the true reasons of why I am no longer writing in your columns:

I am very distressed to hear that you can't write again this week for us. The whole point, of course, of having a press column is that it should appear every week and half its impact goes if this can't be- achieved. I really think I should ask you whether you think it's worth going on with the arrangement that we have. I am afraid that we have become a sort of residuary legatee of your writing and although we are a small paper, we can't be put in that position. For myself I think we should call the engagement off. It has been running now for exactly a year and personally I have welcomed your contributions very much, but in these circumstances I don't really see how we can continue.

As to your complaint and that of Quoodle that I filed copy only two weeks out of three, I find on searching my records that Quoodle is wrong in saying that I wrote for you for exactly a year. started on December 6, 1963, and I was dismissed on November 23, 1964. During this period of less'than a year, during which I could have contributed fifty- one columns, I contributed thirty-eight. A rather better batting average than Quoodle suggests. It was with this knowledge in your mind that you dismissed me from your paper without notice or compensation. Your predecessor, Mr. lain Hamilton, at least received compensation.


Stour, East Bergholt, Suffolk

PS. Quoodle, writing in the Spectator of Novem- ber 6, said: . . But checking back over the last hundred paragraphs that have appeared over the pen-name Quoodle, I find I wrote eighty-one of them, and contributed to five more.' Rather a similar batting record to my own.