21 SEPTEMBER 1956, Page 28


'THE public is not undiscerning,' C. P. Scott wrote in his celebrated 'facts are sacred' pro- nouncement: 'It recognises the authentic voices of conscience and conviction.' It was not journalistic skill or commercial acumen that brought Robertson Scott's Countryman into so many homes, though he possessed both: it was the fusion of these and other qualities with journalistic integrity. The chapter on the Countryman in his 'We' and me (W. H. Allen, 21s.) is as heartening to read as it must have been satisfying to write. For the rest, there are studies of four other eminent editors of the recent past, including Spender and Massingham; and a discussion of the vexed question of editorial security. Like all Mr. Robertson Scott's recent books, it is congenial, casual, and full of strange Fleet Street lore.