19 JUNE 1947, Page 15


SIR,— On a recent Sunday evening in the middle of a heat-wave I attended a concert given in a famous theatre not a mile from Charing Cross. A full orchestra and chorus under a well-known conductor promised well. Feeling that in such a case " distance lends enchantment," I booked a so-called balcony seat, only to discover that " balcony " on the Sabbath means " gallery " on week-days. At the half-way interval I and my fellow sufferers descended from " the gods " to seek a little (relatively) fresh air and possibly some cooling drink, only to find that all the theatre bars were closed, and therefore not even soft drinks or ices were obtainable. The only possible source of refreshment was a near-by public-house, which quickly overflowed with, I should say, less than 1 per cent. of the concert- goers—even assuming that any considerable number would have wished to go there. One could not help thinking how such conditions compare with those in any Continental city, and wondering why we still tolerate such a state of affairs in 1947, and still more what those hoped-for tourists from abroad will think.—Yours faithfully, H. FOSTER.

• The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, to St Pones's Square, S.W. z.