24 OCTOBER 1958, Page 21

SIR,-1 have read the report of Taper concerning the Tory

Party Conference and the interruptions of mem- bers of the League of Empire Loyalists. Since I was just beside the gentleman who blew the bugle and was removed I was obviously sitting near to Taper. All he saw I saw except for the events which he says took place outside the hall.

No one can excuse any undue violence in dealing with meeting destroyers (these people were not heck- ling, since what they said or did had no relevance to

the speech of the Prime Minister). But the following points in favour of both stewards and member's of the audience should be made :

(1) The hall had been searched for possible in- terrupters, since previous conferences had experi- enced them. Obviously it was expected that the League of Empire Loyalists would act true to form; they did. So what was done by the League members was planned and premeditated. (2) Taper must have seen a man with spectacles interrupt and be allowed simply to walk out on apparently saying he would shut up and go quietly. I saw it. Taper must have done so. He does not mention it.

(3) Each person who interrupted, other than the man with glasses, kept on shouting. Obviously a certain amount of force had to be used to stop the shouting. (4) Each member of the League who, interrupted was stationed deliberately in the middle of a block of seats (it would have been so easy to sit in a gangway and to go quietly) and this meant that the stewards had difficulty in getting the people out who did not offer to go quietly. (5) One incident which Taper describes I saw and must dispute his account. I refer to the ejection of the woman. At first she struggled as if not to go; then she changed her mind apparently, said she would g quietly and was allowed to do so.

In short, where there was punching and the strong- man act (which there undoubtedly was) it was due to the members of the League failing to shut up and making it obvious that they had no intention of going quietly.

They wanted trouble. They got it. And they wanted it for publicity purposes. They got that too. They have no cause for complaint.—Yours faithfully, KENNETH LEWIS

Junior Carlton Club, Pall Mall, SW I

[Taper writes : 'In the one case in which Mr. Lewis takes issue with me on the facts (the ejection of the woman interrupter) his observation seems to me to have been imperfect, since he states that 'each mem- ber of the League who interrupted was stationed deliberately in the middle of a block of scats.' This was certainly not true in the case of the woman; nor is Mr. Lewis's description of her ejection. Both her position at the end of a row, and the violence used to eject her, were quite clear to me, and are very clearly established in any case on the television film of the incident, which Mr. Lewis does not appear to have seen.'—Editor, Spectator.]