14 FEBRUARY 1941, Page 5

A SPECTATOR'S NOTEBOOK THE appointment of Mr. Malcolm MacDonald as

High Com- missioner to Canada may be, and no doubt is, a compli- ment to Canada, but it seems a doubtful compliment to Mr. MacDonald. High Commissioners have always, I think, been taken from the senior civil servant class—Sir William Clark in Canada, Sir Geoffrey Whiskard in Australia, Sir Harry Batterbee in New Zealand. Sir Gerald Campbell, who has just left Ottawa for Washington, had been in the consular service. It is certainly not promotion for a man who has sat in successive Cabinets since 1935, and established a notable reputation as Secretary of State for the Dominions and for the Colonies. There are not so many able younger men in the front rank at Westminster today that the disappearance of one of them, if only temporary, can be viewed with satisfaction, and it is hard to think that Mr. MacDonald will be able to coge back and take up a Ministerial career where it has been intnrupted. His appointment, inci- dentally, looks like meaning the end of the National Labour Party as an effective force. Three of the other Ministers in the party, Lord De La Warr, Sir Ernest Bennett and Mr. Kenneth Lindsay, have lately lost their posts. Mr. Harry Nicolson is now the only office-holder. The rank-and-file in the House include Mr. Denman, Commander King-Hall, and, I believe, two others.

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