SIR,—May 1, at the risk of being original, accuse you
of too great a loyalty to your colleagues? Wherever the most plausible interpretation of events is slightly Machiavellian, you do not even consider it.
Merely by bringing together information on pages of Randolph Churchill's book, one can virtually prove that Hailsham was cynically 'used.' 'Before his operation,' Churchill tells us, `the Prime Minister told Home that no one was emerging and it would almost certainly be his duty to disclaim his peerage and step into the front line' (p. 103). The italics are mine. This was before Hailsham, after receiving a message from Julian Amery and Maurice Macmillan (Churchill, p. 108), had, with what he understood to be the Prime Minister's authority, announced his intention of disclaiming his peerage immediately. It was before there was a deadlock between Hailsham and Butler for Home to break.
You say that Macmillan brought forward Maudling, Heath and yourself, but that none of you, emerged. Since three of you were being brought forward more or less simultaneously, that is hardly surprising. It also has to be explained why Macmillan chose that point in time to make Butler Deputy Prime Minister. It was clearly not to advance Butler's own claim to the succession. Surely it was done to spike the three young contenders' remaining guns— on the miscalculation that Butler himself was politically finished.
For months before last October, Macmillan had been declining to resign on the ground that the party could not agree on a successor. Had this principle been adhered to in the past, we should still have Lord Avon as Prime Minister. By announcing, not his resignation, but his intention to resign when the party could agree on a successor, Macmillan defied all precedent and arguably affronted the Crown.. If he had resigned straightforwardly, his successor would have been chosen and the party would have united behind him in forty-eight hours at the out- side. The unique manner in which Macmillan retired from office was designed both to fix his successor and to vindicate the manner in which he had pre- viously clung to office.
Treveighan Cottage, Treveighan, St. Teath, Bodmin, Cornwall
WHAT A NASTY LITTLE BIT OF WORK YOU ARE STOP FIRST NOTICED YOUR EYES AT THE BLACKPOOL CONFERENCE ON TELE- VISION STOP THANK GOD YOU'RE NOT PRIME MINISTER — HERBERT GREENE +
WARMEST CONGRATULATIONS STOP YOUR ARTICLE BOTH COURAGEOUS AND NECESSARY IF THE WORD TORY IS TO BE RE-IDENTIFIED WITH THE WORD IN- TEGRITY =BOULTING BROTHERS +