2 MAY 1992, Page 22

What a liberty

Sir: The leading article on Hayek (28 March) was a generous tribute to a great thinker.

The sneering letter of Mr Charles Fyffe (17 April) should not be allowed to pass without challenge. It is not true, as Mr Fyffe implies, that Hayek opposed welfare for the poor, sick and homeless. Quite the reverse. What Hayek made clear, in such works as The Constitution of Liberty, was the need to provide for the poor in ways that minimised state power. He was always conscious, as socialists are not, of the great risks involved in over-extending the role of government.

Hayek was also full of admiration for those wealthy persons who support chari- ties, academic foundations, and, no doubt, such journals as The Spectator.

Tom Burroughes

73 High Street, Ipswich, Suffolk