12 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 13


SIR,—While we acknowledge that Brian Inglis knew Stephen Ward rather better than we, he seems to be going too far, in his review of our book Scandal '63, to establish Ward's magnanimity.

He particularly disputes our claim that Ward was 'ratting' on Profumo, and suggests that in fact he went to great lengths to protect the Minister. Ward only attempted to protect Profumo so long as he was also protecting himself. When his own skin became paramount he readily shopped Profumo with a visit to Admiralty House and in a manner which lacked subtlety and left a nauseating impression. His successful attempt to substitute Miss Keeler's story with his own in the Sunday Pictorial was not in order to prevent exposure of Mr. Profumo but to protect himself and to spite Keeler.

He later showed great irritation that Keeler had sold her memoirs while his were still unwritten. The only importance of establishing this is to demolish the absurd tendency to convert Ward into a martyr. To do Mr. Inglis justice, Ward has certainly been caricatured wrongly as a' nihilist and Satanist, and we were anxious to avoid this shallow interpretation of his character. Ward was essentially a weak man, and his descent into depravity sprang entirely from this.


(for Jeremy Wallington and Ron Hall) 10 Rock Hill, SE26

[Brian Inglis writes: 'Nobody who met Ward would dispute his keen interest in Ward: and, as I wrote, he was' foolish to try to make a virtue of unmasking Profumo. But even if he did so from self- interest, Ward 'tried to 'protect Proftimo—not a man he much cared for: and found himself as a con- sequence being investigated by Scotland Yard with a view to prosecution—or so he saw it. In the circum- stances, 1. suggest„he was more ratted against than ratting.'—Edi tor, Spectator.]