22 MAY 1941, Page 5

One effect of the war has been to give, for

better or worse, a sharp stimulus to anonymity in journalism. I should say it is for worse. Apart from leading articles, which represent no purely individual view, but the considered policy and tradi- tion of a paper, it is a good thing on the whole that contributed articles should be signed, both to impress on authors responsi- bility for what they write, and to indicate to the reader what weight to attach to such contributions. However that may be, the reason for the new trend is clear. A formidable proportion of habitual contributors to papers like The Spectator are now in places—the army, the navy, the air force, the Ministry of Information or other Government departments—where nothing may be written for publication over an official's signature with- out an elaborate procedure of submission for sanction to the highest office authorities. Hence the inevitable crop of (literally this time) noms de guerre.