20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 18

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sin,—Mr. Bonham Carter is

more successful in showing that farm workers in his area (and in other areas) are underpaid than in showing that coal miners ought to accept their present level of wages " philosophically." The fact is that both these classes and most other classes of workers suffer from the enormous widening which has taken place during the past thirty years in the gap which separates what the producer. gets from what the consumer pays. In regard to coal, the details of these intermediate costs are set out clearly in the candid and valuable letter from Mr. Coate. These inter- mediate costs have two principal roots : increased cost of transport and increased taxation. Again, the principal root of increased taxation—especially of the very high modern local taxation—is maintenance of highways. I have noticed that you do not usually print letters which call in question the economic wisdom of modern expenditure on road transport : nevertheless, the wisdom or unwisdom of this expenditure is worth considering in connexion with the level of wages, especially perhaps in connexion with coal miners' wages.—I [If we do not print letters on road transport it is because we do not receive them. These and all letters arc dealt with purely on their merits.—En. The Spectator.]