3 JUNE 1972, Page 28

Humphrey bash

Sir: — How is it that you can retain the services of Auberon Waugh as a reviewer of books yet entrust Humphry Berkeley's unedifying account of his political abdication to the notorious leftwing hack and toady (Waugh's phrase; I make no apology) T. C. Skeffington-Lodge?

Admittedly, T. C. S. L. combines a rather beautiful error of fact with the perfect quotation — Berkeley joined Labour very shortly before the election of 1970, when victory seemed certain, not in defeat, which lends "1 have always wanted office because I feel my talents lie in the fields of administration and decision-making" an especial piquancy. Possibly this has weighed against him among those who can remember longer than a week.

Meanwhile I offer this idea for a Spectator competition: Complete the following sentence in not more than twelve words, "I have always wanted office because. . . ." Each entry to be accompanied by three dust-covers from Harold Wilson's latest book.

C. N. Gilmore 197 Woodstock Road, Oxford