22 MARCH 1946, Page 4

The Cabinet no doubt has its own means of gauging

public opinion, and it may have some reason for believing that a popular desire exists for the victory celebrations officially ordained for the day commonly (though, some protest, inaccurately) called Whit Saturday. Personally I have found no one—to be precise I have found one per- son—who wants any such thing. We have had abundantly adequate (and economically very wasteful) rejoicings over the end of the German and Japanese wars. There were good reasons for that, and the nation celebrated with heartfelt spontaneity. There is nothing spontaneous about victory marches thirteen months after the end of one war and eight months after the end of the other, and he must be a strange mortal who feels in the mood for such things as he looks out on the world today. The pageant will obviously cost money, probably a considerable amount of money, which could be spent to very much better advantage in other ways. The Government is no doubt following precedent in decreeing the celebration, but the past should not always be allowed to govern the future. My own belief is that if Mr. Attlee decided to call the whole thing off he would be almost universally applauded.

* *