Letter: Venerable economies with the truth

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Marr ("We still need Orwell", 25 March) quotes Lord Armstrong's remark about being "economical with the truth", which I had thought of as a recently coined cliche. However, the Folio Society's newly published collection of William Russell's war reports for the Times includes a report from Cawnpore in March 1858. Russell recounts a meeting with an old Sikh officer who, "stroking his beard, which flowed almost down to his saddle, told us tremendous fibs ... He was a noble-looking old economist of the truth."

Michael N Russell