11 MARCH 1966, Page 9

Gower Street News A welcome, first, to John Egremont, who

today graduates from occasional contributor to the status of a regular fortnightly columnist: he and "Strix will be taking turn and turn about with the Endpaper. Lord Ferernont, who as John Wynd- ham was probably closer than anyone eke to Harold Macmillan during the seven years of his premiership (and for a long time before that), is by temperament a radical. by manner and style an eighteenth-century grandee. and by profession one of the biggest and most progressive land- owners in England, with a large chunk of the Lake District as well as the magnificent Petworth estate in Sussex. He starts this week with a character- istically off-beat piece of autobiography.

A welcome, too, to another newcomer, John Wells. ho takes over the Press column from Desmond Donnelly. who in turn has gone off to defend his Pembrokeshire fastness for the dura- tion of the election. Since Donnelly was one of the very few MPs to achieve a pro-Labour swing in 1959, this should not prove too difficult; although a number of rather silly local Labour worthies have decided not to support him-- evidently under the confused impression that we are now in a Presidential system and that loyalty to the Labour leader is more important than loyalty to Labour principles. A view that H. Wilson himself is not notably remembered for having taken in the past. Undeterred. Donnelly will doubtless once again increase his majority, campaigning on an election address that has as its main feature a warm letter of commendation from the late Hugh Gaitskell. Gaitskell's family. incidentally, hailed from the small Cumberland market town of Egremont, which is why, when Dora Gaitskell was made a life peeress, she took that name as her territorial designation —much to John Feremont's delight. Which brings me full circle.