13 AUGUST 1994, Page 20

Haig on Haig

Sir: Paul Johnson's defence of the need for proper rewards to British commanders (And another thing,6 August) is commend- able. As he rightly suggests, these should be equated to changing circumstances. To be fair, in my father's case the parliamen- tary grant and viscountcy were not reject- ed for reasons of inadequacy, but to give time for the preparation of a state scheme whereby his men, so many of whom were suffering from disablement and unem- ployment, would be offered reasonable pensions. When the first recommenda- tions of the Select Committee on War Pensions were found to be acceptable by my father in late 1919, the consideration of his own reward was allowed to proceed. On a lesser point of accuracy the Estate of Bemersyde, which was so generously gift- ed by public subscription, excluded the agricultural land, which was bought by me in 1940, long after my father's death.

That gift was as acceptable to him as I believe was the giving of it to the donors. Sadly my father only had four years left in which to enjoy it.


Bemersyde, Melrose, Roxburghshire