5 JANUARY 1974, Page 4

Military coup?

Sir: After reading Patrick Cosgrave's recent article on governmental takeover one's feelings muss be mixed. There can be few thinking people who want the present system of inevitably ineffective government to continue. Wow many of us feel sickened at the thought that the only alternatives to Mr Heath are Mr Wilson and Mr Thorpe?) On the other hand, better the devil we know than the devil we don't know.

Roger Taylor The Vicarage, 17 Maybush Lane, Felixstowe Sir: The authoritariarn tendencies of the present Prime Minister, referred to on more than one occasion in your columns, have made me wonder at times during the last twelve months whether the present Government would not, sooner or later, attempt to extend its period of office. Now (December 15) we have Patrick Cosgrove saying he can imagine the outcry if such an attempt were made. No smoke without fire? It's not on, Patrick! Norman Henry 29 Inglefield Avenue, Heath, Cardiff