25 OCTOBER 1963, Page 20


SIR,—I do not know what Mr. Papworth has read into the economic advocacy of the late Lord Keynes, but I am-certain of one thing: the great man never suggested that our nation could have (for instance) more houses unless there were either: (a) People prepared to set earnings aside for housing of their own free will, via Building Societies or Local Authority loans, or (b) rich men submitting to be plundered of their gains, or (c) a totalitarian regime resorting to forced labour.

At one time prudent people saved (or tried to get on) because there was the prospect of clear gain for themselves. Today they still save and still try to get on, but not in' hope. They do it because they fear being left to subsist on a meagre government pension.

• Tomorrow, under the threat of still more savage taxation, or of still heavier losses through monetary inflation, they may come to feel despair at the utter futility of making any extra effort, or of denying themselves any more present pleasures, and start living from hand to mouth. or even trying to outshine the Joneses on borrowed money (hire purchase, a mortgage etc., etc.), the same as most working-class people seem to do.

When that happens—when the pride and will to independence of the middle classes are finally smashed--our government will need to employ totalitarian methods to keep the economy going: let Mr. Papworth and his Labour friends be in no doubt about that!

STUART MIALL North Acres., Strom, Hassocks, Sussex