2 APRIL 1948, Page 17


Sun,—Mr. Wilson Harris, in his review of my sister's book (3. L. Garvin: A Memoir), in your issue of March 5th, published a number of state- ments concerning my father which are both untrue and unfair, and cannot be allowed to pass without protest. I should like to point out to Mr. Harris that had my father's articles consisted solely of "a spate of mean- ingless words," as Mr. Harris asserts, his career would hardly have been as brilliant as it was, nor would he have achieved—as he undoubtedly did achieve—nation-wide influence and world-wide fame. Mr. Harris's remarks cannot be called criticism. They are a kind of petty carping at a man who can no longer defend himself. Those competent to judge are agreed that my father was a great journalist and a great personality —whether you liked him—whether you agreed with him—or not. The public will remember him as such. Mr. Harris's ungenerous attack does not therefore diminish the stature of J. L. Garvin—but only that of Mr.

Wilson Harris.—Yours faithfully, URSULA SLAGHEK. Pineta di Sortenne, Soudrio, Italy.

[Mr. Wilson Harris writes : " Balanced appraisal of men or things is impossible if one half of the estimate is singled out for attack and the other half ignored. I said in my review that Mr. Garvin was one of the outstanding journalists of his day ; that his articles were frm,iently brilliant ; that under him the circulation of the Observer rose frombr 4,000 to 200,000 ; that he was a tireless worker ; and I spoke of his character- istic kindness in coming to see me and bringing some information I had asked him for."]