14 JULY 1979, Page 16


Sir: I read with attention two pages, at least, of your paper of 7 July; the first was that where Mr Chancellor properly castigates his fellow journalists for seizing and devouring a 'little titbit of unsubstantiated information cast casually into Fleet Street'. His strictures had sadly not travelled so far as the page opposite where Mr Mount says that 'Sir Alec Merrison, vice-chancellor of Bristol University, has been sitting on assorted committees of inquiry into the medical profession ever since 1972'. I have sat on only one committee of inquiry into the medical profession, before or after 1972.

I will not weary your readers with a recital of Mr Mount's other errors of fact, since with wisdom he rarely resorts to anything so simple and convincing as a fact, but I would warn them against his opinions if Mr Mount himself believes the 'facts' he displays in your pages. Mind you, I suppose your readers must be pretty well armoured men if they are able to wade through Mr Mount's style of prose. I thought 'imperial pint of wind and piss', used about a report he has not read, a particularly arresting phrase.

It is sad to see a once-considerable weekly journal threshing about in the gutter in this way.

Alec Morrison The University, Senate House, Bristol