28 JULY 1990, Page 22

Hearst's man in Havana

Sir: I am afraid that Noel Malcolm gets the country and the exchange wrong in the first paragraph of his article last week about Nicholas Ridley (Politics, 21 July).

What happened was this. In 1897 the cartoonist Fred Remington went down from the United States to Havana to produce some sketches inspired by the Cuban war of independence against Spain. He cabled his employer, William Ran- dolph Hearst: 'Everything is quiet. There will be no war. I wish to return.' Hearst cabled back: 'Please remain. You'll finish the pictures and I'll finish the war.'

Thomas of Swynnerton

29 Ladbroke Grove, London W11