13 MAY 1943, Page 14


SIR,—In the course of his able review of my book The Daily Press Mr. Gordon Robbins questions my statement that the loss sustained by The Tribune in its brief career in 1906 and 1907 was £600,000, and suggests that it was no more than £300,000. He may well be right, but the £600,00o has respectable authority behind it. It was the figure given by the late• Mr. S. J. Pryor, editor and managing director of The Tribune, to Mr. Wickham Steed, who quotes it in his admirable Penguin book, The Press. On the other hand, Sir Philip Gibbs, whom I have since consulted (he was a member of The Tribune's staff and told its story in his novel The Street of Adventure) is clear that the figure was £350,000. The various estimates are not necessarily irreconcilable, for I learn from Dr. J. L. Hammond, who was also on The Tribune, that the principal owner, Mr. Franklin Thomasson, at one time brought some American money into the concern. It seems therefore to be at least possible that Mr. Thomasson himself lost £300,000 or £350,000, but that the total loss was considerably higher than that. It is doubtful whether there is anyone still surviving who can speak with complete certainty on the point.—I am, Sir, yours, &c.,