17 JUNE 1972, Page 26

Berkeley bash

Sir: How fecund of ambiguity is the English tongue, especially for those who go in search of it!

When I spoke of Mr Berkeley's having joined Labour (Letters, June 3), I referred to his public announcement that there his allegiance would lie in times to come, not to the dates of private letters addressed to persons other than myself, Auberon Waugh predicted in Private Eye that this event would be sufficient to lose Labour the election, a prediction which I dismissed at the time as unduly optimistic. Which shows how wrong one can be.

May I indulge in one more fantasy? I believe that Mr Berkeley knew precisely what I meant the first time and had he slept on his letter before dispatching it I might have had more difficulty in framing this rejoinder.

C. N. Gilmore 197 Woodstock Road, Oxford