3 OCTOBER 1947, Page 17


SIR,—I recently attended a meeting at Cambridge at which Mr. James Griffiths, defending the Government on the charge of miscalculating the possible benefits of the American Loan, quoted with approval an article which placed the blame on the Americans on the grounds that the con- ditions of the loan were impossible to fulfil. This is a remarkable excuse, even though it comes from a member of a Government which has shown itself ever ready to produce original excuses for its own mistakes. Are we to assume that the Government, of which Mr. Griffiths is a member, thought that the conditions of the loan were impossible to fulfil at the time that the agreement was signed. If this be the case the British public has a legitimate right to enquire why the loan agreement was signed at all. Or are we to believe that the members of the Government have belatedly seen the force of Mr. Churchill's warnings about the dangers of the con- vertibility clause and the provision for the scaling down of imports of tobacco and other commodities from the Dominions and Colonies in pro- portion to similar imports from America, given at the time of the loan negotiations? In any case, of course, the culpability of their accepting the loan conditions rests not on the Americans but solely upon the members of the Government.—Yours faithfully, HUMPHREY BERKELEY

(Hon. Secretary Cambridge University Conservative Association).

Pembroke College, Cambridge