I AM writing in reply to Roy Martin's letter about Baroness Castle (LET, May 13).

If Mr Martin reads my letter (LET, May 11) more carefully, he will see that I said nothing derogatory about Mrs Castle as a constituency MP.

In trying to promote herself as "Our Barbara" Mrs Castle was simply borrowing a popular show business phrase of the time about Gracie Fields ("Our Gracie"), presumably hoping that the public would identify her with Gracie's popularity and some of the film roles she played.

In the fourth paragraph of my letter I wrote, "By all means erect a statue to Baroness Castle," in other words I am prepared to consider the arguments for and against. Facts speak for themselves, and on the facts Viscount Morley has an equal claim to the honour. He was not the MP for Blackburn, nevertheless he was an MP for 25 continuous years, being re-elected by his constituents.

Barbara Castle first became Blackburn's MP in 1945 -- only 22 years after John Morley's death. It is already a quarter of a century since Mrs Castle was Blackburn's MP, so like John Morley she now belongs in the past. What is so different? As Mr Martin implies in his letter, a statue to Viscount Morley of Blackburn is perhaps long overdue.

If length of service to the town as a constituency MP is to be the criterion then consider the strong claim of Sir Charles Fletcher-Cooke who was Conservative MP for Darwen for over 30 years, being re-elected like she was and holding Ministerial and other high office in government. He was also a QC (1st Class Hons.., Bar Final Exam).

Why not a statue to all three (One Liberal, One Labour, One Conservative) so that the present council cannot be accused by future generations of favouritism?

D SMALLEY, Blackburn (address supplied).