12 JULY 1957, Page 18

SIR,—In juggling by-election figures to prove how up-and-coming the Liberals

are, Mr. Deyermond's quick hand deceives only one eye: his own.

He claims that in each of ten by-elections held during a period carefully chosen by himself 'the percentage of Liberal votes rose.'

Mr. Deyermond fails to point out that since, in five of these by-elections, there had been no Liberal candidate at the previous General Election, the Liberal vote rose simply because, having previously been nil, it could not fall.

He does not mention that three of the candidates concerned forfeited their deposits.

He omits to say that six of the eight relevant seats (two were created in recent redistributions) returned Liberal MPs not so long ago—two in 1923, one in 1924, two in 1929 and one in 1945. In these seats a by- election result that is not actually humiliating is, consequently, nothing to be proud of.

And, of course, he conveniently brushes aside the constituency ,(Carmarthen) that registered a Liberal loss.

I draw your attention to these facts as a protest against specious argument rather than from any desire to defend Taper. As for that gentleman, may I suggest that, his constant references to himself- arithmomaniacally, I noted twenty-five in his latest piece—having shown him to be insufferably big- headed, he be renamed Tadpble?—Yours faithfully, GERALD KAUFMAN

17 Southwood Avenue, N6