16 MARCH 2002, Page 42

My spade and I

From The Rt. Hon. The Lord Garel-Jones Sir: Two points of accuracy on Charles Moore's amusing note about our encounter in Washington (Diary, 2 March).

The spade was, in fact, what Uncle Matthew would have described as an 'entrenching tool' — not for use against foreigners, but for planting olive trees in Spain.

1 never referred to 'taking on' America — less still to picking a fight. My view is

that the beginning of wisdom in international affairs is to have a friendly, grownup relationship with the USA, and that our ability to have some small influence is enhanced by our membership of the European Union.

I can envisage no circumstances in which I would reach for my entrenching tool where the US is concerned.

Tristan Garel-Jones

London SWI