Forgotten words on a summer's day

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The Independent Online
Sir: Until Maurice Peston told me about the complaints by Professors Havard Williams and Roger Gregory (Letters, 29 June), that I was guilty of denigrating university professors, I had no idea that I had done any such thing. But there it is, in last Friday's Independent, in black and white, an alliterative trio of policemen, politicians and professors, all seemingly condemned by me for being a part of society's lowered standards.

Frankly, I don't recall saying this, although I remember clearly the rest of my telephone conversation with your reporter, plus the bit he didn't include, to the effect that ministers do not seem as easily embarrassed by their mistakes as they used to be. But I am. Your reporter says I said it, so blushing apologies to professors Williams and Gregory and to all other professors, policemen and politicians, every one of them upright defenders of the highest standards of public probity.

And I have made a resolution. No more answers to telephoned questions from reporters seeking a quote on a somnolent summer's afternoon.

Yours faithfully,

JAMES CALLAGHAN

House of Lords

London, SW1

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