Letter: Mandarins paid in gongs

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Sir: My confidence in your integrity has been shaken by the bland statement in your leading article of 5 June that "Whitehall staff are reasonably paid" and consequently should not expect to be in a group which receives honours for its top few chiefs as a sort of compensation for poor remuneration.

Since 1979, when public service became unfashionable, the Civil Service has been the subject of severe pay restraint and staff cutbacks.

I have four sons, all born between 1955 and 1965. Three are in the private sector (railways, building and advertising). The fourth, who is academically the brightest (first-class degree from Oxford), is a senior civil servant in Whitehall. My private sector boys are paid two to four times as much as the civil servant and in no way would they pretend that this was a justifiable disparity.

By all means let us do away with automatic honours, but in the case of the Civil Service please do not justify this on the grounds that the staff are reasonably paid.

PAUL BARRACLOUGH

Seaford,

East Sussex

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