By RANDOLPH S. CHURCHILL 'THOUGHT the Sunday Telegraph's Colour Supplement on the Pope's pilgrimage to the Holy Land was a very fine piece of work. It is a pity though that they marred an admirable effort by making claims for it in advance which were untrue. On Friday, January 10, the Daily Telegraph informed its readers :
No other publication in this country, in Europe, nor, it is believed, in the world, has been able within a week to produce a. colour record of this extraordinary occasion.
And on Saturday, January 11, made this further claim : This colour record is the first to be published anywhere in the world.
In fact Oggi and Epoca, two magazines printed in Milan, had colour reproductions out on the Wednesday before. Oggi (circulation 800,000) had six pages of full colour of the Pope in Palestine; it was printed in photogravure and the quality was roughly equal to that of the Sunday Tele- graph. Epoca (circulation 400,000) had twenty- four pages of coloured Papal pictures of superior quality to the Sunday Telegraph. So had Mr. Woodrow Wyatt's five provincial papers centred around Banbury—Banbury Guardian; Birming- ham Planet; the Marlborough Times; Coventry Express; and Swindon Echo. The Banbury Guardian and Birmingham Planet both had colour reproductions in their issues of Thursday and the other three papers had coloured pictures of the Pope on Friday. Wyatt's newspapers were the first newspapers in the world with the Pope's picture in colour. The Italian magazines Oggi and Epoca were the first magazines. The Sunday Telegraph was first at nothing.
Mr. Wyatt tells me that with his offset printing press he could have come out in colour on the Tuesday but did not like to accelerate his normal date of publication. •
The process installed by Mr. Wyatt at.Banbury has great advantages in speed. On the Tuesday before Christmas his papers published a picture. of Princess. Margaret taken on the afternoon of the day before at Liverpool Street station.
The machine he uses, is technically described as 'web offset non-heat drying.' The quality is not so good as when heat drying is used, which
enables glossy paper to be used and drying the inks gets better results. The process', however; is incomparably quicker and cheaper than any other process in the world. Apart from the cost
of taking the picture (not very much) it costs Wyatt less than £25 to do one page of colour. Wyatt also does a lot of job printing at Ban- bury. He prints the monthly Rail News for British Railways; the circulation is 120,000. They also have big ,regular orders from Lewis's; Bristol Siddeley; IBM; Tate and Lyle; Gorringes; and Great Universal Stores. Wyatt also prints the weekly Record Mirror. The motives of the Press lords are usually inpenetrable. But a guide may perhaps be afforded to them by keeping a running score of how they print the news and how they suppress. Naturally, I have been interested in the space given to reviews of my recently published book, The Fight for the Tory Leadership. Here is the box score, •in column inches :
January 12, 1964
Observer 75 Sunday Telegraph 40
Sunday Times .
News of the World
Sunday Express 0
January 13, 1964
Western Daily Mail
East Anglian Daily Times
January 14, 1964 Eyening Standard
121 One of the great blessings of a free press is that it allows the millionaire proprietors entire liberty to exercise their prejudices without any accountability, even to their shareholders. There is no quest for the truth; simply a desire to smother it when it is inconvenient to a press lord. This maxim does not apply to the latest press' lord, Mr. Roy Thomson.
It is not often that I find an opportunity to praise Sir William Haley's Times; but when the opportunity arises, 1 embrace it warmly for it shines 'like a good deed in a naughty world of electronic suppressors.' On Tuesday, January 7, they had a long article on the 'Brady property empire.' The reporting and research of The Times's Special Correspondent deserves high commendation. Stick to it, Sir William, and you will turn The Times into a newspaper. You may even make it as good as the Sunday Times.
* I am writing before Thursday's book reviews in The Times. Perhaps Sir Williarit Haley will make, amends.