13 MARCH 1953, Page 5

The discussion in Congregation at Oxford on Tuesday on the

raising of the retirement age of professors from 65 to 67 (the age for Heads of Houses is higher) produced some pertinent observations. Dr. Enid Stark ie, of Somerville, said that in the present economic state of the country it was extravagant to retire men in their prime. Dr. John Lowe, Dean of Christ Church and ex-Vice-Chancellor, said that if the country was to maintain its place as a considerable Power there must soon be some decided and large-scale move to increase and prolong productive capacity. On the same day the Bonn correspondent of the Manchester Guardian was beginning a ,dispatch with the remark : "The Federal Chancellor, Dr. Adenauer, is rapidly gaining a reputation for being the most indefatigable 76-year- old since Bernard Shaw was the same age and, roughly speak- ing, in his prime." But haven't we in this country a fairly likely runner in the 78-year-old stakes ? Indeed more than one. As it happens, I read in Wednesday's Manchester Guardian a paragraph on Miss Margery Fry, mentioning that "at 78 Miss Fry is still doing her good work. This morning she spoke to a social studies conference of the Townswomen's Guild in a voice clearer and stronger than that of women half her age." We are a tough race.