21 MAY 1948, Page 4

The Libel Committee Marathon is beginning to attract public interest.

The official name of the body in question is, I believe, the Committee on Changes in the Law of Defamation, and it has been sitting, under the chairmanship of Lord Porter, since the early months of 1939. Whether it was essential that the war should suspend its labours I don't know, but it did. The war, however, has been over for two years now, and the committee was understood to have re-applied itself to its not very extensive task soon after the clash of arms ceased to disturb its slumbers. But the one thing it will not do is to report. From time to time questions are asked in the House of Commons, and one of the Law Officers gives a bland assurance that the report is about to be drafted, or is in process of being drafted, or will shortly appear. If the earlier assurances had any substance the document would have been in the hands of the public a year or more ago. At it is, a new committee to investigate the inactivities of the original committee might be worth while.