19 MAY 1950, Page 5

Occasionally, like other people, I am asked to go somewhere

and speak about something ; sometimes, out of sheer weakness I go. It is an odd thing, this demand for garrulity, but it exists, and I suppose it has to be satisfied. At any rate, since people keep asking other people to come and speak, it must be assumed that they want the other people to assent. They do indeed often write most persuasively, but they don't quite always realise how persuasion is reinforced by the mere inclusion of six simple words, which are sometimes there, sometimes not—" expenses will, of course, be paid." It is wonderful what a difference that emollient assurance can sometimes make between Yes and No, particularly where the distance is considerable and the fare proportionate. Rhetoric and riches rarely go hand in hand. * * *