22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 16

Rural Rulers

It is worth while remembering that an ambition of this sort was the motive of the gift of Chequers to the nation. Lord Lee of Fareham, as he told me before the gift was made, saw the day coming when Britain would have a Prime Minister whose training had been wholly urban (unlike that inveterate country- man, Lord Baldwin). The " urbanised mind," as Sir Horace Plunkett used to say, was the greatest of dangers in any State. It seemed, therefore, to the owner of Chequers (which has as deep a country atmosphere as any house in the Island) that residence, if only for week-ends, in so green and serene a retreat would go some way towards healing this urban malady. There are some who know how effectually the dream was realised, and the rural bias conveyed.