11 MARCH 1966, Page 3

Portrait of theWeek

FOR THE LAST TIME, Members of Parliament assembled before dispersing to fight the general election. The mood was excitable, and even before the last heavy jokes and hearty farewells, the campaign was launched. On Sunday the Tories published their manifesto, and Mr. George Brown swiftly established the likely level of the forthcoming political debate by denouncing it as 'political drivel'; on Mon- day there followed the Labour manifesto, and that was found 'totally irrelevant' by Mr. Edward Heath; on Tuesday Mr. Jo Grimond opened the television hustings even before the Liberals' manifesto was out. So began the long shouting-match across the yawning opinion poll gap (Labour had a 13 per cent lead in Monday's Daily Express Poll)—while twok- makers put the election odds at around four to one against the Tories, five to one on Labour. Meanwhile, sterling sagged to its lowest level since the international rescue operation last September. Steel shares soared, however, after Labour had promised to nationalise the industry once again.