24 MARCH 1950, Page 7

The retirement of Sir Alexander Cadogan from the post of

British member of the United Nations Security Council brings to an end a distinguished diplomatic career and a most notable record of public service. Quiet, firm, invariably well-informed and saved by an ample supply of common sense from ever losing sight of realism, Alec Cadogan has shown himself something very near what an ideal British representative abroad should be. Some routine diplomats were inclined to be cynical about international experiments like the League of Nations and the United Nations. Alec Cadogan never was. It was his business to give them his best, and he always did. Apart from that, he did admirable work as Ambassador in China in the middle 'thirties, and as Permanent Under-Secretary' at the Foreign Office in the difficult years 1938-1946. What he thought of Downing Street diplomacy during the Munich period remains to be told ; but it is a siffe prediction that it never will be. Sir Alexander has abundantly earned rest if he wants it, but last time I saw him he was as fit and vigorous as he has ever been, and it is to be hoped that some ,way will be found still for the public interest to benefit by his sound judgement and the wide experience it is based on. As to the consequential changes that follow, the appointment of Sir Gladwyn Jebb to succeed Sir Alec at Lake Success was inevitable ; it could not be bettered. And to bring back Sir Pierson Dixon from Prague to the Foreign Office as a Deputy Under- Secretary is altogether wise. To keep a first-class man in Czecho- slovakia in present conditions is sheer waste.