4 JUNE 1971, Page 24

Sir: In 'The Spectator's Notebook' (29 May) you compare the

im- portance of Common Market legi- slation with the relatively trivial abolition of retail price mainten- ance.

Does the latter, however, which was forced through by Mr Heath in a dying Parliament against the protests of his back-benchers really qualify as an excellent piece of legislation? It has, perhaps, in the short term saved the housewife sixpence at the expense of eightpence in time and shoeleather; it certainly ruined thousands of small entrepreneurs who were traditionally supporters of the Conservative party, and it seems likely, after the present spasm of Eastern bazaar retail trading, to deliver the housewife into the hands of the large retail chains. Excellent legislation?

J. P. Lissinrw•e The Plantation. 636 Burton Road, Littleover, Derby