30 OCTOBER 1976, Page 18


Sir: Stuart Holland is really ungenerous to Mussolini in suggesting in his article 'Keynes and the Labour Party' (16 October) that Keynes had 'more influence on postwar British socialists than any single theorist of our time'.

Mr Holland, who has been an acknowledged admirer of IRI and a protagonist of its child, the National Enterprise Board, must know that the theory and practice of state involvement in companies—rather than old-fashioned nationalisation—owes itself to Mussolini's corporatist ideologY. This aspect of Bennery was practised as well as theorised about in fascist Italy. Of course, it helps to have quisling industrialists. One of the oddest puns in history is that the industrialist who helped Mussolini to get IRI off the ground was called 'Benni'. Michael Ivens

Director, Aims for Freedom and Enterprise, PO Box 443, 5 Plough Place, Fetter Lane, London EC4