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Home thoughts


Hugh Ferguson, the ICE's deputy director general, is quoted (NCE 14 September) as saying the 'ICE understands well the difculties facing its members working abroad etc.' Ferguson should consider the condescending and, perhaps, racist connotation that could be put on such advice and should certainly wake up to the possibility of less-than-savoury antics in the home market.

It is, admittedly, a long time ago, but I once worked as an assistant to an engineer's representative on road construction in England. The project received some concrete pipes that proved to be out of the porosity specication. We therefore condemned them.

However, on orders of the county surveyor we were instructed by the ER to back off. Apparently the manufacturer was very close to the county hierarchy. Only a threat to go to the press had those on the high ground take fright. I have occasionally wondered whether we stopped a practice or merely caused some passing discomfort.

Barry Walton (F), 8 Milford House, Portsmouth Road, Milford, Surrey, GU8 5HJ

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