LETTERS:Interpreting statistics

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The Independent Online
Sir: Bill McLennan is so right to put integrity, the fact and perception of it, among the top qualities of a good statistical service (Lies, damn lies and figures that try to tell the truth'', 19 December) and Britain is lucky to have the good se rvice that it has.

In less-advantaged countries it is not so easy. Dealing with wayward and suspicious governments is hard for a statistical service without the support and interest from universities, Press and public opinion.

My husband, John Boreham, visited many of these places after his retirement as head of the Statistical Service, in 1985, and was very impressed by the stalwart work put in by statisticians working against difficult odds and risking their jobs.

Yours sincerely, HEATHER BOREHAM London, SW15

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