21 February 1961
This is (by your grace) a reply to the letter to you from our friend Anon dated 24 November. You passed it on to Duncan Fairn who forgot to bring it to the following meeting of the QCB (or if non prefers, H) but he brought to the one after that where it was read out and discussed. So my apologies for the delay, but I have only had it for some 3 weeks, nothing as these matters go, with umpteen thousand years of crooked thinking to straighten out and all that. Again, I must assume he has a copy.
1. First of all, we were most appreciative. Anon has even changed our minds for us: we agree, for example, to move the Hansard quotes in my bit on the law to the appendix.
2. It is not the purpose of a consolidating statute, such as the 1961 Offences A.T.P. act was, to change the law, and indeed their is a legal presumption against that being its effect; but it may be there is a little too much emphasis on Labouchere and that is is inappropriate to leave the Sodomy laws untouched. When I called in at the J. Law Reform Society yesterday incidentally I was told that amendments to repeal Labouchere may be expected to pop up over the coming few years from all sides, including the Governement, but the HLRS itself is holding out for the lot. I am not certain about this, but this (which is Anon's) is certainly the logical approach, and perhaps the right one. I will look over the draft again.
3. On morals, it is suggested that there is a certain amount of moral matter in what is admittedly intended to be a purely legal chapter. Like what, I wonder? I didnt think there was one moral line in it (as it were!) at least in the later printed revision (which perhaps you could let anon see).
4. If anon is not yet tiring, perhaps he could also see that real heart of the matter, ie the part on homosexuality as such (entirely unrevised by anybody as yet) which arrived through my door last Saturday and of which I devoutly hope you have spare copies. (If you have, I think I could do with another myself).
While I am writing--I enclose L2--9--4 against the enclosed invoice. I am much obliged to the HSC for their copperation generally, and to yourself personally of course for forwarding Anon's mail...
PS Anon should know that--having record in particular to the penultimate paragraph--his comments were the least maundering I have ever heard.