24 MAY 1986, Page 23

The Fulham story

Sir: I am sorry to see Bill Deedes (Diary, 17 May) perpetuating the myth that the 1933 Fulham by-election was fought 'on the pacifist ticket'. This was Baldwin's version. But the only evidence he had for this was that the labour candidate was an eloquent pacifist. Fulham was not the only by-election at which there was a big swing against the National Government. The idea that the electorate in that particular constituency very much in a state of flux and faced with a Tory candidate who was a controversial landlord — suddenly and almost uniquely turned to issues of foreign policy, is as difficult to sustain as it is improbable. The result provided a convenient excuse in retrospect for inertia in re-armament. Baldwin was no fool; and not renowned for candour either.

Andrew Alexander

Town Place, Scaynes Hill, Sussex