16 AUGUST 1957, Page 6

THE LETTER in the Spectator's correspondence columns today from Mr.

Leonard Schapiro, lec- turer in Soviet studies at the London School of Economics, should be of particular interest for anyone who has been following the controversy over the Russian Service of the BBC. Mr. Schapiro, I understand, was one of the two experts called in by the BBC to report on the state of the service some years ago, and, in view of the state- ment in an earlier letter from the head of the BBC's East European Service that 'the reports [of the two independent critics] were fully discussed with the authors and, so far as practicable, taken into account,' it is significant that his letter should be a plea for another independent investigation. Obviously all is far from well in Bush House, but that could have been deduced already from the widespread anxiety on the subject among in- formed opinion as well as from the evasive tactics pursued by the Russian Service's defenders. It seems that the BBC is more interested in finding out where its critics get their information from than in remedying the state of affairs which causes the criticism.