10 NOVEMBER 1950, Page 5


THAT Bernard Shaw has left a great deal of money may be taken for granted. He must have made a vast amount, and there is no reason to think he spent lavishly—quite the con- trary, indeed. And though he was generous his income every year must have largely exceeded his outgoings. That being so, it is dis- tressing to read, on what seems adequate authority, that the bulk of his fortune is to be used to promote his fantastic idea of a new alphabet, with new letters or symbols, which in some mysterious way is to confer manifold benefits on mankind. What is worse, the royal- ties from the Shaw plays are to provide the new foundation with a steady income for years to come. It is impossible to see any good to anyone in all this, except to a number of people who will no doubt get well-paid posts in an organisation which no rational person can believe will ever effect anything. The sum of money involved remains to be disclosed. When it is disclosed it will be possible to compute (uselessly enough) what good it might have done if devoted to other causes in which Mr. Shaw was particularly interested— some form of- endowment of drama, for example.