11 OCTOBER 1975, Page 4

Wine war

Sir: Discussing (September 20) the wine war currently being waged between France and Italy, Spectator suggests that the UK is itself concerned because it's all about "unfair conpetition", something that we as a country are often complaining about.

He concluded with the words, "but basically we should make up our own minds as to whether we believe in free trade or not".

But this suggestion is nothing if not misleading. Because the EEC claims to be a free trade area that in turn means that free trade as you refer to it is not a part of its creed.

The EEC is in fact nothing but a species of customs union, economically

speaking, a giant international cartel, which, incidentally, due to its built-in policies of intervention, combined with subsidies, is an organisation full of weaknesses and loopholes available for exploitation by the countless and intrepid entrepreneurs within its borders, many of whom are totally unscrupulous.

Let us be quite certain that the French gentlemen who purchase cheap Italian wines for sale abroad in bottles labelled French know full well that in due course in addition to a trading profit they will receive a subsidy from the Commission in Brussels for their part in reducing the crazy European wine lake.

Despite any sadness at your change of stance in the matter of the EEC. I still enjoy reading your stimulating periodical. However, I do suggest that your contributors be careful in their presentation of Common Market news. Surely you would not wish to lose too many of the new readers, myself included, that you surely gained during the referendum campaign.

Richard Pegier King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, Sussex