27 FEBRUARY 1948, Page 15

Snt,—On page 216 of your issue of February 20th you

urge that in existing circumstances increased earnings must be made conditional on increased output. On the next page, however, Janus is allowed to dis- regard your editorial lead by emphasising that, because recently created public posts carry such swollen salaries as £8,500 a year, salaries exceed- ing £5,000 a year should be paid to judges, whose work is extremely important but even less directly productive than that of the posts mentioned. To many onlookers few things have seemed more marked since the war than the alacrity with which leaders of the country— Members of Parliament, heads of public boards, heads of educational and other institutions—have moved for, or accepted, increased emoluments and expense allowances. Income tax is generally put forward in justifi- cation. The result, however, is that, financially, public work has been con- verted into one of the cosiest and most comfortable of occupations. Except in this respect, leadership has never been so lacking. If in place of ex- hortation, wage-earners were given undeniable example in action—by self-imposed reduction in emoluments and expense allowances for instance, which at their present level are incompatible with the country's economic situation—they would certainly follow it.

I shall be told that the amount saved by a self-denying ordinance of this kind would be relatively minute. That is, of course,exactly how each group of wage-earners regards the total of such increases as it is anxious—largely in consequence of income tax again—to secure. As long as those at the top are so obviously keen on the big penny so too will