29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 14


Snt,—I seem to recognise m Mr. Butt's letter the strange distaste felt by some scholars for any agreeable and popular legend, yet contem- porary or nearly contemporary traditions are rarely without a basis of fact, and the architectural historian is usually wise to respect them. However, the point here, as Mr. Butt might have seen if he had paid as much attention to reading my " romantic exercise " as to deburking it, is not so much the truth of this particular " legend " as its moral. There can be no question that private interests influenced, even if he does not agree that they hampered, the process of rebuilding London after the Fire, and a glance at some of the new legislation respecting war damage suggests that the individual claims of landlord and tenant may develop ramifications which could seriously conflict with the public interest if rebuilding on a large scale ever became necessary. As the rest of Mr. Butt's remarks are not relevant to what I said, I need not comment on them further, but I would ask him, in the light of what happened all over the country during the housing shortage following the last war, whether he considers that a policy designed merely " to satisfy the immediate and urgent requirements of the citizens " is likely to give Londoners the London they deserve.—Yours

truly, LESLEY LAWRENCE. Pilgrims' Hall, Brentwood, Essex.