28 JUNE 1940, Page 13

THESE LOST LEADERS " Sta,—Some intellectuals are extremely excited because

other intellec- tuals have seen fit to go to America. They say so, in well-managed words strongly scented with self-righteousness and rationalised malice. In my village women say much the same things, with different con- cepts, of a butcher whose meat and manners please them not. They say they'll transfer ; who is he, anyhow ; it's about time he was fight- ing for them, anyway ; reserved occupation, indeed ; didn't they have two sons in the last war, one maimed and the other not much good still ; war's a terrible wicked thing that ought not to be, and off he'd best go to do his bit in it.

The pleasing similarity between the Great and the Small having been noted and enjoyed, one becomes a little wearied and saddened by the malice, however well rationalised. And one is moved to plead with the Editor of The Spectator that he give no more of his valuable space to silly, nasty little verse such as that of W. R. M. in your issue of June 14th. For, after all, as Mr. Grigson wrote in his recent letter in your columns, " it simply is not our business—to inquire whether an artist is in England or Boston, or Heaven or Hell." And so much is our business—I mean, there is plenty to do, isn't there?—Yours