1 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 17

MR. PRIESTLEY'S BROADCASTS SIR,—It was with infinite regret that one

heard across the radio that Mr. J. B. Priestley has himself decided to bring to an end those talks to which so many of us have looked forward week by week. Mr. Priestley's reasons for this step are that he is getting rather tired— which we can well believe; that be did not want his listeners to become bored, as might be the case now that he had been giving these talks for some time (that stage is a long way off for at least one listener); and—this is the reason that will startle many of us—that certain critics (one gathered a minority) objected to his party bias (he says he is of no party), the fact that he has misused his oppor- tunities as a wireless speaker, and that he is too outspoken! This is almost unbelievable. Has the tone of the country since Dunkirk so soon altered? Then we were stirred to high endeavour and strong resolve, united in a common purpose, so that all pettiness and meanness, all that we know to be unworthy of the British race had no place in our thoughts. Not only would right and justice and freedom be the foundation of a new and happier Europe, but this great country—on which the eyes of all the world are turned with eager and expectant hope—would never again be traitor to its thousands dead, but would be united in its resolve to lead the way in creating a social fabric where want, poverty and social injustice, and all that makes for misery and unhappiness would be swept away. As Mr. Priestley once said, " Any sly, nasty, vindictive, utterly cynical policies and actions belong not to our side, but to the other despairing mind with which we are at war." And the cynics and our enemies laughed us to scorn and called us hypocrites and humbugs. But—were they right after all? It must not be. Men of Mr. Priestley's vision must still hold high those finer things for which we strive. After his well- earned rest we hope he will return to the microphone to help brighten those dimming lights, bringing comfort and hope and high resolve to those who love their country best.—Yours faithfully,