22 JANUARY 1972, Page 17

Used Bishop

Sir: Never had I expected to see the pages of your magazine openly used as a platform for neocolonialism, yet here are two gentlemen in your Letters column (January 1) virtually inviting the leaders of two impoverished African nations to bid against each other for one slightly used bishop!

How is such an auction to be conducted? Sealed bids could be used, but are loathsomely evocative of the tobacco trade. A Dutch auction? Vilely reminiscent of the Cape. King Solomon's solution is tempting, but who could be trusted to make a fair division? David Caute perhaps, but is his eye steady enough? No, I fear the matter will have to be thrashed Out on the floor of the United Nations, winner to purchase at the usual price for goods of this kind: cost less depreciation plus five per cent and provide own transport if outside our delivery area. C. N. Gilmore 117 Woodstock Road, Oxford