26 FEBRUARY 1972, Page 18

Great debating

From Laurance Reed MP

Sir: In " Political Commentary " (February 19) Hugh MacPherson refers to the commitment I made in the Bolton Evening News, on the eve of the last election, not to vote in favour of joining the Common Market if it was clear that the people of Bolton were opposed to entry after the terms were made known.

Mr MacPherson might also have mentioned the twenty-one meetings I held in my constituency in September and October 1971. The literature advertising these meetings invited people to vote yes or no. At the beginning of each meeting, I personally read out the commitment published in the Bolton Evening News and, at the close, a vote was taken.

There voted 55 per cent in favour and 35 per cent against entry. The numbers joining in this decision were ludicrously small (les than 1 per cent) but no one in my constituency can or will deny that they were given the chance to participate.

Laurance Reed House of Commons. Westminster. SW 1.