15 DECEMBER 1961, Page 5

Hundred Up

rHERE was some scepticism when Encounter first appeared because it was (as it still is) subsidised from the United States : the money to establish and maintain it has come from the Far- field Foundation, through the agency of the Con- gress for Cultural Freedom. In principle there are objections to outside control of this kind; but we permit Lord Beaverbrook or Mr. Roy Thomson to own newspapers and dictate their editorial policy we cannot in practice worry over- much about remote control exercised over a cul- tural monthly. In practice, too, it has proved a distinct asset, filling the gap left by the disappear- ance of Horizon. As Stephen Spender is easily able to demonstrate in his Postscript in its hun- dredth number, the shift of emphasis from the Arts to Current Affairs is not a reflection of this More propagandist attitude of the editors; there no longer is 'the kind of atmosphere in which a Magazine devoted purely to literature would be news",' in the way that some of Encounter's dis- tinguished predecessors were news. Under Irving kristol and Melvin Lasky Encounter has flourished in a way that would hardly have been believed possible ten years ago; and with Mr. Spender they deserve congratulations for its success.