18/4/06 - Honours lists (£)
The Times

Sir, Your report (“Cash for honours”, April 14) states that the notorious Maundy Gregory, the only person convicted so far under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925, did even better after that law had been passed, until it finally caught up with him in 1933 because he was able to keep “the whole of the price he had extracted” instead of putting most of it in the coffers of political parties”. 

It was not quite as simple as that. Gregory had to divide his spoils with a corrupt Conservative official, Sir Leigh Maclachlan, and the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s private secretary, Sir Ronald Waterhouse,through whom he was able to get names into honours lists.What was left after they had had their cuts seems to have found its way into Tory funds.After serving his brief sentence in Wormwood Scrubs, Gregory was collected by a Central Office car before he could be rearrested on a murder charge and whisked off to a life of exile in France made more tolerable by a £30,000 payment authorised by Baldwin.
Alistair Cooke
London SW1