3 MAY 1997, Page 29

LETTERS Members only

Sir: I regret to say that the article by Rory Knight Bruce, 'Hunters, don't listen to the press!' (26 April), refers to the MFHA fox- hunting study weekend which was a private gathering of members of the hunt staff. He has been a member since he became joint master of the United in 1991. It was indeed encouraging to hear Ann Mallalieu robustly speaking for hunting, in spite of the con- trary views of a great many Labour candi- dates. She certainly did not say that there is nothing to worry about with Labour.

Tony Baldry did suggest that hunting people should lobby in marginal con- stituencies, but I am pleased to say that this was by then well in hand through the Cam- paign for Hunting. Rory Knight Bruce fur- ther refers to the 'old guard of the MFHA' and has clearly not troubled to notice that seven out of 12 of our committee would not expect to be referred to in this way. The support he gives to hunting is appre- ciated, but he should get the facts right.

Michael Richardson


Parsloes Cottage, Bagendon, Cirencester, Gloucestershire Rory Knight Bruce writes: I referred to the Masters of Foxhounds Association study weekend solely in the context of Ann Mal- lalieu's speech. As she was an invited speaker and not a member of the MFHA, it seems entirely appropriate that her thoughts on hunting should have been given a wider audience.

As for my reference to the 'old guard of the MFHA', I was not simply limiting myself to its committee but clearly to its membership as a whole. My concern as an active foxhunter for the future of the sport goes well beyond committees or individual speakers whose stentorian composition or siren voices do not reflect the feelings of hunting people as a whole.