24 JANUARY 1964, Page 13

The Tory Leadership Sir Linton Andrews,

Stanley Alderson, Herbert Greene, the Boulting Brothers, Caron Kent, Frank C.Happold, Dudley Renwick, Anthony Grant, C. M. Lister Mrs. D. G. Thorburne

Press Guides Conor O'Brien Non-Review George Matthews Randolph Vigne Patrick Duncan The Years of the Lion David Kingsley The Consumer Council's Car Elizabeth Ackroyd The Cure for Crime Giles Play fair, Timothy Cook The Unnecessary War W. C. S. Corry Quoodle R. C. G. Hancock The Poetry Society William Kean Seymour


SIR,—As a Conservative of the rank and file 1 am grateful to you for throwing further light on the choice of the Tory leader. Your article of January 17 adds greatly to our knowledge of a strange chapter of events. In supplementing Mr. Randolph Churchill's book where it was incomplete, or where you thought, with first-hand knowledge, that it was misleading, you have given us a document of historical value.

Why then do we find many Conservatives condemning its publication? They think it may injure the party's electoral prospects. Naturally they raised no vociferous objection to Mr. Churchill's book, with its thesis that Lord Home emerged as party favourite for the leadership after a completely fair consulta- 'tion of party opinion. Are they thinking of the book as election propaganda which it would be impious for a true blue to question?

Surely the author intended it as a careful piece of history. If so, it is rightly subject to critical examina- tion. Even if considered as election propaganda can we deem its standard of accuracy unimportant?

But will the general election be fought, as some of your critics imply, on the way Lord Home was chosen for the party leadership? I think not. Experience shows that general elections are fought on the question in many electors' minds, `Which party will help me most?' or, as I should like to think, 'Which party will do best for the country'?' A rank-and-file Conservative looks for a broad basis of reform on which alt our party leaders can unite.