17 JUNE 1955, Page 6

A Spectator's Notebook

I HAVE TWICE, now. in this Parliament looked down on Sir Winston Churchill occupying what is the most powerful private Member's place in the House of Commons : the seat on the Front Bench just below the gangway. And it gave me an odd feeling on both occasions. It was as though dne was looking down on someone whose career has yet to be seriously started. I found myself murmuring : `Ah! there is a future Prime Minister—if the party will take him back.' This impression of energy still held in reserve which Sir Winston gives, even as a private Member and even at the age of 80, is worth recording. I would also have thought it worth recording that, if the General Election result was a vote of confidence in the Conser- vative Government, it was a vote of confidence in the Govern- ment led by Sir Winston Churchill. I think all the leading Conservative Ministers, and in particular Sir Anthony Eden, have been a little worse than churlish in their attitude to the real architect of the Conservative victory. What impressed me most about Mr. Attlee's gesture in inviting Sir Winston to take the oath before him was not that it was characteristic of one side of Mr. Attlee, but that it was a devastating comment on the manners and sense of proportion of the junior Conservative Ministers who went on taking the oath after Sir Winston had entered the House. They must have known he was there— because, however frightful it may be to have to record it, he was actually cheered when he entered.