5 JUNE 1964, Page 13

SIR,—Lord Attlee's review of the book on 'Jimmy' Thomas shows

glaringly the least attractive side of the Latour movement. They are so mean and ungenerous to one another. Is there no human kind- ness left in the party of so-called brotherly love? Even if Lord Attlee cannot say one friendly word about his former colleague, why must he muck- rake his illegitimacy? Jimmy Thomas was not re- sponsible for that! He had been a Privy Councillor and a Minister of the Crown, for which he might have been held in honour instead of having mud slung at him—quite unnecessarily and out of con- text by the second Labour Prime Minister. Why should Lord Attlee also rake up Ramsay Mac- Donald's illegitimacy? Is there no generous streak left in the Labour Party, or is it given up wholly to backbiting? Might not Lord. Attlee have remem- bered MacDonald's good services to the Labour movement for which he was responsible, instead of blackening the good name of the dead on account of his illegitimacy, for which he was not respon- sible? And what good does Lord Attlee hope to achieve by needlessly besmirching the name of Keir Hardie—the father of the Labour Party, whose memory most Labourites honour. Could Lord Attlee not have been 'brotherly' enough to leave his illegitimacy to rest quietly with Keir Hardie's dust in respectful silence? If this is typical of the spleen Labour leaders show to one another, is it any wonder that Churchill's old question is being revived-1s Labour fit to govern?'