6 MAY 1989, Page 24


Sir: To say that Ceausescu's megalomania has occurred 'at the expense of current living standards' (I love that 'current') is comparable to calling Genghis Khan a compulsive traveller.

I think Professor MacGregor-Hastie (Letters, 29 April) writes in jest. I hope so. In 1968, according to Professor MacGregor-Hastie, Bucharest had a high- er living standard than London. I, too, was in Rumania in 1968, where there was no food in the shops, except for the ubiquitous jars of jam and cartons of bicarbonate of soda. The hospitals lacked medicines (ex- cept, one supposes, for bicarbonate of soda). Life in Ceausescu's state is univer- sally agreed to have deteriorated in the subsequent 21 years, though I should not have supposed at the time that any further fall was possible.

Owen G. M. Morgan

45 Bellevue Crescent, Clifton, Bristol