29 JULY 1966, Page 12

Selling Britain Short

SIR,—Your point in 'Spectator's Notebook' (July 22) is a valid one, but the real criticism must be against the Hovercraft salesman for using the idiotic word 'knot' at all. These Victorian technicalities really do not help international trade. I suppose we may legitimately stick to mile and ton and pound (though please not guinea!), but could we not banish knot and stone and fathom to the same place as rod, pole and perch? Does the Hovercraft salesman wear button-boots and an Ulster? But it is not only Prime Ministers who sometimes sigh and wish we could buck our ideas up a little. A simpli- fication of our extraordinary measurements would be a start.