15 APRIL 1989, Page 23

Right all along

Sir: You say that I should have published the leaked DTI report 'at the first oppor- tunity — on Sunday 26 March' (Leading article, 8 April). But I didn't receive a copy of the report until the evening of Tuesday 28 March, and then published it 'at the first opportunity' — on Thursday 30 March. Had I waited any longer, it would have been banned, as events were to prove conclusively.

Had Paul Johnson not been blinded by his tears for Perry Worsthome (The press, 8 April), have read James Bartholomew's article on the following page and realised that Tiny Rowland's unforgivable sin (mine too, I fear) was to be right about the Fayeds all along. When the report is finally pub- lished, as it surely must be, one of its more interesting chapters will be on the role of the press in this affair. I fear that critics of the Observer like Paul Johnson, along with many others, may not emerge un- scathed.

Donald Trelford

Editor, The Observer, Chelsea Bridge House, Queenstown Road, London SW8