7 FEBRUARY 1964, Page 18

SIR,—Quoodle says, 'Very few Prime Ministers are all-rounders. Macmillan was.

Probably Balfour was. The rest had specialist knowledge of special fields.' What about Attlee, Baldwin, Campbell-Bannerman, Lloyd George, or for that matter,. Sir Winston Churchill? All extremely successful Prime Ministers and none of them exactly specialists. On the other hand, it is extremely doubtful whether Balfour can be classed as a true all-rounder judging from the biographies.

I would have thought the only Prime Ministers this century who could be described as specialists in any sense, other than Lord Avon and Sir Alec Douglas- Home, were Asquith, Bonar Lai, and Neville Cham- berlain and it is at least arguable whether the first two really come into that category. In the last cen- tury the same, probably only Peel and Gladstone and perhaps Lord Salisbury could be called specialists. So perhaps we ought to invert Quoodle's statement and say, 'Very few Prime Ministers are specialists. X, Y and Z were. The rest were all-roundcrs.'

Barcombi, Lewes, Sussex