11 MARCH 1966, Page 15

Mr. Short's Early Warning SUL,— Many of your readers will

doubtless have judged you right (as indeed I have) as to why the BBC withdrew its invitation to Mr. Tom Driberg to appear on a 24 Hours programme on Vietnam. But I am sure they will also judge. as I do, that there is something extraordinarily petty about your insistence that the BBC should be made to stand in the comer, something rather patronising about this 'Aunt Sally' label to which you subscribe.

If I may make so bold as to quote the editor of one political weekly at the editor of the other, 'The Corporation is in danger of becoming a national Aunt Sally. . . . Anyone in the broadcast- ing world knows that there are a lot of things wrong with the BBC. These arise not only from its huge size . . but also from its ambiguous position as both a purveyor of public-service broadcasting and as a semi-commercial undertaking fighting for ratings against fierce competition.'

It would not be at all difficult to bark about some new shortcoming of the BBC in 'Spectator's Note- book' every week. But a good watchdog will some- times wag its tail. Care canem Specnuoris!