15 NOVEMBER 1997, Page 34

The sober truth

Sir: Friendship is a fine thing but the 'cer- tain amount of alcohol' Alistair Cooke (Letters, 1 November) says he drank with Mr and Mrs Neil Hamilton 'over many hours' seems to have impaired his judg- ment. There were not two but three mature and reputable witnesses to Mr Hamilton receiving cash from Mohamed Al Fayed: a trainee solicitor given the highest refer- ences by her leading City firm, a senior sec- retary whom no man could bend to his will, and a security officer of good character and long service. There was also a lot of docu- mentary evidence that was subjected to rig- orous testing by the Metropolitan Forensic Science Service and found to be authentic. If Mr Cooke really wants to find out the truth, he should put the cork back in the bottle and take his pal Neil out to the woodshed and ask him, like George's dad and the cherry tree, to tell the truth about Mohamed and the money tree.

Michael Cole

Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1