6 MAY 1972, Page 26

Coming to terms

Sir: I must confess a great deal of sympathy for George Gale in his desire to come to terms with Europe (April 29). Yet, having asked some very sensible questions, he seems to have lacked the courage of his convictions in coming up with the answers.

For, surely, if the battle is worth fighting (and this one certainly is) it is worth fighting to the bitter end, while, at the same time, formulating the guerrilla campaign that is to follow. For even if it seems inevitable that the Prime Minister will get his own way over Europe — it will still probably lead to his ultimate downfall — it does not make his case any stronger. Had there been real evidence that the Government's European policy had the full-hearted support of the people Mr Gale's action would seem more reasonable. Yet, not withstanding some fairly dirty in-fighting by the pro-Market lobby, the public still seem resolutely indifferent while, among the individual activists, I estimate the anti-Marketeers outnumber the pro's by 2 to 1. What has been so frustrating about the whole issue has been the feeling of helplessness on the part of the individual. You can as I have, write to your MP. But does he really care about what the constituent feels? I doubt it.

You can try and influence people with whom you have come in contact — only to find yourself labelled a "Common Market bore "! You can mount a letter writing campaign to the press. Yet, even if you enjoy a modest success amid the distinguished contributors to the Times and The Spectator, it is (with due respect) a poor substitute to being able to decide the issue democratically with your fellow men at the polling booth in a referendum.

For it is the contempt that Parliament — or certainly those who voted against a referendum — shows towards the public that is the most depressing of all. Now we are to lose the support of The Spectator. A pity if, in some respects, understandable. For let us not forget what a valuable rallying point it has been during the EEC debate. And, who knows, wisdom may prevail and Mr Gale may have second thoughts and return to the fold, He will be welcome on the strength of his past record. James Towler 25 Moseley Wood Lane, Cookridge,