20 AUGUST 1948, Page 5

To call spmething unthinkable, when the very fact of saying

so in- dicates thought about it, is one of the more foolish of literary lapses. I therefore refrain from describing the proposed demolition of Moor Park in Surrey as unthinkable. Most unhappily, as Sir Harry Brittain discloses in The Times, the owners of this historic house find demolition perfectly thinkable, and are in fact seeking an order to enable the destruction to be carried out. Now Moor Park is one of England's historic houses. Swift lived there for years with Sir William Temple and wrote A Tale of a Tub as well as The Battle of the Books there. It is no small thing that Sir William Temple himself lived there, as all readers of Macaulay's essay on Temple will recognise. To my own mind it is a much greater thing that the incomparable Dorothy Osborne—given wider and abun- dandy merited familiarity through Lord David Cecil's Two Quiet Lives—lived there as Lady Temple. Protest against the idea of destroying Moor Park should be universal. The Minister of Works,

I believe, has power to schedule it as a historic house. If so I hope he will exercise his authority without hesitation and without delay. * * * *