25 NOVEMBER 1955, Page 17


SIR,—When Mr. Betjeman referred (Spectator, November 11) to the charms and anxieties of St. David's College, he did not mention the chief cause of the college's straits. Alone among universities and university colleges in this country, St. David's receives not a penny from the University Grants Committee, to which other institutions now owe the greater part of their income. I understand—though 1 am open to correction—that the chief reason which has been offered is that St. David's has no science faculty, and that a college without a science faculty does not rank as a 'university institution.' Not many years ago, the Grants Committee blessed and endowed the new col- lege in North Staffordshire which but for the committee could not have existed. If that was allowable it is hard to guess what can debar the committee from helping a long-established college to create a science faculty and to ex- pand as all other colleges and universities have expanded since the war.

Some of your other contributors have remarked that we are entering an age in which the State will be the only considerable patron of learning and the arts. The plight of St.

David's gives us a foretaste of that age. I wish the college abundant success in its appeal for funds: but I fear the omens are not good.— Yours faithfully,

AUSTIN DUNCAN-JONES 105 Hagley Road, Birmingham, 16