7 FEBRUARY 1964, Page 17


SIR.—Friendship is a commodity so rare that we are anxious to withdraw the phrase 'sunk without trace' rather than risk any cooling of Mr. Lawrie's apparently warm feelings towards us. In the context of the story we were telling, it seemed justifiable because, after all, we were referring to the £3,000,000 cash loaned by the NFFC to British Lion Film Corporation, and that amount, by the end of 1954, had gone down the drain and nothing remained in the kitty.

What remained, though, were the films upon which

the money had been expended—cargo, one might say, floating above and beneath the surface, awaiting the difficult and speculative task of salvage. In the event, a fair job was bane and over the years, in various ways, some £900,000 in revenues were realised

—although nobody in 1955 would have dreamt of such a possibility.

Somebody, therefore, was responsible for British Lion losing £2,100,000 odd—and not £3,000,000 as at first appeared. This is clearly a creditable effort, and to whoever was responsible for losing that modest sum we can only say—'Well done, you did a grand job!'

One last word : we are disappointed that ex-banker Lawrie objects to chartered accountant Kingsley's concluding calculation. Pity ! It seemed to us, and still does, succinct and straightforward and easily understood by the layman. But if we do not intrude upon this battle of experts we hope James Lawrie will not interpret our diffidence as an indication of any devaluation of our rispeet and regard for him personally.

JOHN AND ROY BOULTING Mel bury House, Caldecote Lane, Bushey Heath, Herts