2 JUNE 1961, Page 13

Sm,—In your leading article last week you say that for

the general state of education 'the political parties must take some of the blame: Labour in particular.' You then quoted a recent phrase or two of mine as if in support of this.

If education is in a bad way, the political parties must take, not some, but nearly all the blame. But 'Labour in particular'? The party has had power for five years this century—and that after twenty-five years of either stagnation or total war. Even then, to take a topical example, the school- leaving age was raised. Compare this Government today. We have never had it so good, the need for a highly educated people is understood the world over, educational opinion is virtually unanimous— yet will the Government raise the school-leaving age now?

The Labour Party's proposals in Learning to Live may have been modest, but they were a great deal better than the Government can bring themselves to face. If you really cared about education you would be having a go at the sloth, frivolity and complacency of the Government, not making do with a bit of routine boinbast about the failings of the Opposition.—Yours faithfully,

36 The Little Boltons, SW10


(We were referring not to the general state of education but to the general state of opinion about education.—Ed i tor, Spectator.]