From Mr Tony Bond SIR — It was sad to see that even Quentin de la Becloyere (Charterhouse, January 5), whose commentaries could be relied on for common sense and rigorous Catholicity, appears to have swallowed uncritically a Friendly Society's calculation that it costs £180,000 to raise a child to maturity, from which he expresses understanding of couples who defer marriage, strive for small families, need two incomes to finance an average £200,000 house and, even more surprisingly, questions whether the previous call on "our people [to] be open to life and [to] welcome the large family... is likely to make sense now".
What if it cost a million pounds to raise a child, or any other fear-inducing figure generated by the population control lobby, or others, for their own purposes? Do we then stop having children and buying houses? Materialistic considerations should not matter to people whose faith enjoins them to put out into the deep, trusting in God: "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well".
We should do what is right without counting the cost.
Besides, a recent Daily Telegraph study found that "the affordability barometer, in which 100 points represents the average expense of house prices since the early 1960s, is now at 94.3 points"; therefore, houses are now only 5.7 per cent less affordable than in the 1960s, a modest differential hardly necessitating two incomes to fund a mortgage, defer children or limit family size.
Yours faithfully, TONY BOND Kesgrave, Suffolk