16 OCTOBER 1953, Page 14

MR. NOMAN'S SPONSORS SIR, — It would be discourteous were I not

to answer the questions put to me by Mr. Ludovic Kennedy in his kind critique of The Man Who Never Was.

Mr. Whitley Jones and the solicitor both existed: they each composed their respective letters: those letters were such as they con- sidered, from their vast experience, that they would have written in the given circumstances.

Mr. Whitley Jones was definite that a peremptory demand for repayment of even a comparatively small sum was quite possible if Major Martin had failed to keep a promise to the Bank in spite of repeated reminders: and surely the Bank could not possibly have fixed the sum which would be due for interest until they knew when Major Martin would pay—only Major Martin could know that.

The solicitor (who wishes to remain anony- mous for reasons of professional etiquette) was asked to include a legacy to a named person, described as Major Martin's "servant." As an army officer (and surely it would have been a quite improbable coincidence had he been an ex-Royal Marine) he spontaneoUsly used the term " batman " which came naturally to him. And, if Mr. Kennedy will forgive me, why on earth should he include the name in such a letter ? After all it had been set Out in the letter which he was answering and would be included with the formal description in the will itself.

Even had the benefits of Mr. Colvin's theories been available to me in 1943 I would still have preferred to accept the completely genuine letters composed by the Joint General Manager of one of the " Big Five " and a solicitor of great experience rather than any versions which would have been composed by a journalist, however eminent in his own profession.—Yours faithfully, EWEN MONTAGU Warren Beach, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hants.