19 JUNE 1964, Page 14


Sta,—I am mystified by the reference to me which Mr. Alan Brien makes in the Spectator of June 5. He reminisces—and 1 quote him—`about the eight Lord Beaverbrook flambded himself in the Waldorf Towers pantry and the advice Mr. John Junor gave me as the smell of singed millionaire hovered like a smoky genic above the stricken dinner guests.' I have no recollection of ever having seen Lord Beavcrbrook in a pantry either in the Waldorf Towers or anywhere else.

To the best of my knowledge, I have met Mr. Brien only once. It is true that this meeting was indeed at the Waldorf Towers and at a dinner party given by Lord Beavcrbrook. I have a vivid recol- lection of the occasion and for two reasons: 1. Mr. Brien turned up half an hour late for dinner.

2. He spent much of the evening denigrating his boss—the then editor of the Evening Standard.

But if I had given Mr. Brien advice—and I do not think I did—it would have been to the effect that the loyalty which Lord Beaverbrook gave to his subordinates was a quality which he liked to see the subordinates demonstrate in turn towards their own boss.


Editor, Sunday Express [Alan Brien writes: 'Mr. Junor seems curiously cage,. to get in with his version before I have even written mine. But as he has apparently forgotten that we have met twice since Lord Beaverbrook's dinner at the house of the proprietor of the Spectator, perhaps he has also forgotten that my criticisms of the then editor of the Evening Stan- dard were made at the request of its proprietor and that I 'went on, inflamed by his encouragement, to criticise the editor of the Sunday Express too. Lord Beaverbrook himself appeared almost embarrass- ingly understanding the next day. And when I re- signed shortly afterwards, he wrote from the Bahamas to convey his regret and disappointment, to compare me to Alistair Cooke, and to express the hope that 1 would have "an immense success as a free- lance writer and. broadcaster." '--Editor, Spectator.]

(By Cable)

WITH DEFERENCE to. Alan Brien's unrivalled expertise on the sexual habits of mice, must assure him Sunday Telegraph's Italo-Russian mousetrap works efficiently though bait may be varied to suit tastes of local wild (not, repeat not, domesticated or fancy) mice. Doubt if even Coriolanus would' have swum long in vertical metal tank three and a half inches by two and a half inches also containing other victims.—ossEQut, Mandrake's special correspondent in Orbetello.