15 APRIL 1938, Page 6


ASECTION of opinion in this country seems to be going extremely silly over what it derives apparent pleasure from terming " the Cliveden Set," I have been favoured with a broadsheet headed " Clear Out the Cliveden Set," and advocating what is called a united peace alliance led by Labour. There may be a great deal to be said for that, but I should be very much astonished if the philanthropist to whom I am indebted for the document in question has any clear idea of what Cliveden is, who the Cliveden set are, where they are to be cleared out from, or where to. Personally I have only very modified sympathy with what I conceive to be the policy of what I conceive to be meant by the Cliveden set, but I find it a little hard to see why if Cabinet Ministers, who may be assumed to have some knowledge of the facts, think a certain policy right and recommend it, that should be stigmatised as intrigue, whereas the advocacy of a different policy spells pure patriotism and public spirit. As for Cliveden itself, it dispenses, I suppose, more catholic hospitality than any other country-house north or south of the Tweed, and a list of some of the frequent visitors there would astonish the more confident critics of the Cliveden set. However, on the general principle of the soundness of damning anyone you happen to disagree with as knaves and intriguers I am with the critics all the time. Let us by all means have controversy with a kick in it these dull days.

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