19 MARCH 1965, Page 9

Semi-private Whether or not Mr. Khrushchev's sudden appearance before western

cameras was deliber- ately timed to stir up a jolly atmosphere for the Gromyko visit to London, it certainly had the right effect. But what is Mr. Gromyko doing here? A four-day visit by a Soviet Foreign Minister with the minimum of sessions with his British counterpart and scarcely any official functions is a very odd event indeed, even allow- ing for his wish to see his son in the Soviet Embassy, But on the whole I like it this way, and at least we now have a national theatre to take him to. The Minister should see more, say more and learn more than he would at any number of official arrangements and this in the end should benefil us all. Any sense of dis- appointment should come only from hoping for too much. It will be something only to have satisfied Mr. Gromyko's curiosity.