27 AUGUST 1948, Page 17


SIR,—An alarming fact has been made public this week. It is that book- makers on a provincial greyhound-racing track have gone on strike in protest against the crippling "Cripps tax." Through correspondence columns of the local press punters too are being urged to boycott the tracks for the same reason.

In view of recent experience of " sympathetic strikes " and, once started, their rapid spread, prompt action is surely needed lest in this " seventh largest industry " there be a complete stoppage. For how could the nation hope to recover from such a disaster? The prospect—for those who wish the country ill—would be dark indeed. Dare we face it? It would mean first, that several, possibly scores, of millions of pounds now in idle circulation would be left in the pockets of the punters and might be put to other and more useful purposes, say to National Savings, thus improving the financial stability of the country. Secondly, such a strike might force the bookmakers themselves in sheer desperation to throw up their non-productive profession and take on such productive work as would help the nation to " bridge the gap " and so regain its economic prosperity t,tie sooner. Lastly, such a disastrous strike might lead other nations, the U.S.A. in particular, to conclude that Great Britain was indeed all out to make good her place in the world and that the future historian would be justified in re-asserting that "England has saved herself by her exertions and Europe by her example." Sir, can nothing be done in the matter before such a fate befall us?— 215 Abbey House, London, S.W. 1.