15 MARCH 1940, Page 6

The letter from all the five Canons Residentiary of Can-

terbury Cathedral dissociating themselves from the public political utterances of their Dean has drawn attention once more to Dr. Hewlett Johnson, and many people are asking in some perplexity how Dr. Hewlett Johnson attained the position which he holds. The answer is simple. He is where he is because Mr. Ramsay MacDonald put him there. Deans are appointed by the Crown, and even Archbishops have to be content with the Deans which the Crown, actually the Prime Minister of the day, gives them. The present Archbishop, by all accounts, is not peculiarly con- tent with the present Dean, particularly since foreigners tend to confuse the two, or at least to suppose that their views on all essentials must be identical. But there is nothing that Dr. Lang can do about it. Some day no doubt Archbishop and Dean will be separated by the resignation, of one of them. As Dr. Lang was born in 1864 and Dr. Hewlett Johnson in 1874, the Dean seems unlikely to be the first to go.