6 NOVEMBER 1942, Page 13

Snt,—The real point about the profit-motive (and it was the

Archbishop's point) was put so perfectly eighty years ago by that inspired (but now neglected) teacher, John Ruskin, that it would, I feel sure, clarify the discussion if you could find room to print the passage from Unto This Last. Ruskin is enquiring why "the efficient members of the so-called liberal professions are still, somehow, in public estimate of honour, pre- ferred before the head of a commercial firm " ; and he finds the reason "in the fact that the merchant is presumed to act always selfishly." He urges that they (the public) "must not cease to condemn selfishness, but they will have to discover a kind of commerce which is not exclusively selfish. Or, rather, they will have to discover that there never was, or can be, any other kind of commerce ; that this which they have called commerce was not commerce at all, but cozening. .s.. They will find that commerce is an occupation which gentlemen will every day see more need to engage in, rather than in the businesses of talking to men or slaying them ; that in true commerce, as in true preaching or true fighting, it is necessary to admit the icea of occasional voluntary loss— that sixpences have to be lost, as well as lives, under a sense of duty ; that the market may have its martyrdoms as well as the pulpit ; and

trade its heroisms as well as war."—Yours faithfully, LIONEL JAMES. Barcombe Heights, Paignton.