11 JANUARY 1963, Page 12

Sia,—Mrs. Curzon asks upon what evidence I say that 'step

by step Gordonstoun breaks a boy's tics with. the • outside world, including those With his family.' My whole article was in a sense an attempt to give evidence for this point. The school provides a boy with ties (values, patterns of behaviour, authorities etc.) very different from those he has been accustomed to in his family. The closer the boy is integrated into the school the weaker his old familial ties will become. This is not to suggest any- thing wicked. The little that we know about the sociology Of the boarding school suggests that it can influence and teach a young man extremely ' efficiently..

I never suggested that Gordonstoun was hostile towards parents. But 1 could have quoted Bahn's :View that the family is decayed and that the boy from his school will carry back a pure atmosphere to his family 'like a diver descending to the bottom of the sea.'

Of course I am aware that other boarding schools have uniforms and an under-life, as indeed do many other primary groups in society from prisons to • football teams. But my article was about Gordonstoun; Mrs. Curzon's 'implied picture of Gordonstoun' must be. a figment of her imagination. I did pot discuss the future nor did I• describe or mention a 'totalitarian regime,' let alone one which pressurises its 'innocent subjects' into conformity. I used the expression `pressurised into conformity' but in a very different context. I did not make the meaningless statement that Gordonstoun was 'an elaborate power structure!----I said it had `an elaborate power structure,' the emphasis being upon `elaborate.'