2 JUNE 1979, Page 20

Coin of the realm

Sir: David J. Levy does well (19 May) I° distinguish the Tory from the Liberal elements in the make-up of the Conservative Party. But he should beware of going too far with Peregrine Worsthorne 10 exalting 'authority' above 'liberty'. As Mr Levy's quotation from T. E. Utley reminds us, when circumstances change, Tories need to shift the balance nearer to the true. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they invoked 'authority' against Whig oligarchy and Liberal plutocracy. They have now f° restore private initiative in industr.Y, education and medicine forced by socialist authoritarianism almost beyond the point of survival. Mrs Thatcher and those of us who took her message to the electorate stressed the inseparability of liberty from lawful authority. The authority of the state has weakened because, as Mr Levy perceives; it is 'over-extended'. It has also been undermined by the fashionable fallacies and subversive masochism of an establ ishment which is now losing its grip hut, whose brainchildren are the factories an; hospitals, streets and schools render safe and free for none but the bully, the gangster and the terrorist. Liberty and law, order and freedom are to be regarded as two sides of the coin of the realm.

John Biggs-Davison House of Commons, London SW1