19 JUNE 1947, Page 5


THERE was a certain breathlessness about the dinner Lord Beaverbrook gave to the American editors on Wednesday evening. The visitors, on the first lap of their round-the-world-in- thirteen-days trip, had left New York on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday had been received by the Prime Minister at Downing Street and by the American Ambassador at Grosvenor Square before presenting themselves at the Savoy at 8.3o. The proceedings ended about II in order to enable the editors to take off from Heathrow at midnight, with a view to breakfasting at Istanbul on Thursday morning. There was one odd turn of fortune. The English guests were told to come in day dress because it was assumed the Americans would have nothing else. The Americans came in dinner jackets and boiled shirts, having been told that London is the one place where they would need such attire ; however, it made a convenient badge of nationality. The speeches, immensely numerous, were all that they should be on such an occasion. On the British side Lord Rothermere was particularly happy in his blending of appropriate badinage and sound sense. I forget whether it was he or someone else who described the Constellation in which the party travelled as carrying probably the most valuable freight that had ever crossed the Atlantic.

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