11 NOVEMBER 1949, Page 14

RADIO Tins, I hope, will not be misunderstood. I felt

that it was wrong of the B.B.C., in the programmes that went to make up H.M.S. Amethyst Returns, to join in something that grew last week to look more and more like a national hysteria. The very gallant ship's company must surely have commented in the saltiest of Navy language on the processions of dignitaries, the addresses of welcome, the paeans of the press in chorus, the cameramen—and the B.B.C., which started off its Amethyst programmes at 8 a.m. on Thursday of last week and was still going strong twenty-four hours later. Let nobody indignantly complain that I would not have honour done to these brave men, on the air as in print. But, as the day wore on, I felt as Hamlet: " Something too much of this." It was impossible last week not to feel that the publicists—with so much bad news to record, and with public affairs so much in the doldrums— were whipping up one of •-)ur rare successes of 1949 into something fictitious and frenzied. (The lower deck probably has a succinct word for it.) The B.B.C. could have afforded, surely, to have kept its head.