16 JULY 1948, Page 17


Snt,—With the greatest respect to Janus, I hope heed will be paid to the British Medical Association's recommendation to the Home Secretary that the sordid details of suicide be omitted from Press reports, thus sparing the feelings of relatives and preventing imitations of suicide which the B.M.A. evidently fears with some good reason.

Janus is, of course, quite rightly, jealous of the freedom of the Press. The Dutch people have ideals of freedom of speech and writing very similar to our own ; a Dutch lawyer once told me that in his country the details of divorces and suicides were never published. There was no law governing this, only a tradition among the journalists themselves. Occasionally details were published and the journalists responsible were looked down upon by their fellow-journalists. I personally would com- mend this wise and humane example to our own journalists.—Yours, &c.,