24 MARCH 1967, Page 27

A letter to my son

Sir: I read Simon Raven's letter to his son without being as much offended by it as some of your correspondents seem to be. As a grandmother I would like to make a few comments.

The general tone of the letter indicates a rather shallow view of the problems of youth and is not very constructive. It offers little purpose in life and this is what the new generation is looking for. It also tends to stress what can be gained to the

exclusion of what can be put into life, in building the new society.

The permissive attitude on the part of elders is hardly any longer a matter of choice. Permission to retire to the hay loft will not be considered very important, any more than prohibition. But if Mr Raven's son (or for that matter any son or grand- son of mine) followed the impulse to do so my comments would be as follows: (a) that it is his own affair (and his companion's) and any loss is his, not society's; (b) he has yet to learn whether anything as easy to get as that is worth having, particularly in the sex relationship.

The majority of the teenagers today think and plan a good deal more deeply than they care to let their elders know, and I suspect that the publicity given to their more superficial (and spectacular) manifestations may be an obstacle to the growing pursuit of a purposeful direction in life. To this end I do not think Mr Simon Raven's letter will have helped much.