Dear Editor, I refer to Doctor Smith’s letter, (Post, February 9) on bringing back grammar schools.

Our industrial base has not disappeared with the demise of grammar schools.

It is because we have entered a different age shaped by different demands in the technological age.

Grammar schools have nothing to do with it, I suggest. If our technological and pioneering engineering skills have diminished – which I don’t believe – isn’t it more to do with the fact that France has its écoles polytechniques for engineering and Germany has its higher technical universities, both of which are at a level superior to our and normal university levels.

Before the First World War, we had, I think, just three universities, whilst Germany had 14, half of which were technical and engineering universities. That is when Germany overtook us in the field of engineering.

Grammar schools, I suggest were then, as now, irrelevant.

Harold Nash