26 MARCH 1954, Page 7

Natter, Natter, Natter " More and more space," said the

cynic, " is given by more and more newspapers to reporting what more and more of their readers saw for themselves on television last night; and more and more time is given by the BBC to mulling over topics and events which have,already been adequately dealt with in the Press. How much further is this rather incestuous form of redundancy going to develop ? " The answer (which I thought of afterwards in my bath) is that in the end all modern means of communication contrive to be successfully and healthily parasitic upon each other. It, is true that the talkies drove out the silent films, but that was only like the mail-train superseding the mail-coach; and I can think of no other casualties, unless you count the little speaking-tube with which regulations required all taxis to be fitted until quite recently. The theatre, always allegedly on the point of being killed by the films, is more vigorous and better supported than it was before kinematography was invented. Newspaper circulations, upon which, a quarter of a, century ago, many thought that sound broadcasting would have a crippling impact, have risen steadily. More people read books despite the fact that more people buy magazines. • More letters are being written while more telephones are being installed. More people go to concerts, more people go to lectures; and few if any—as far as I have been able to observe—talk any less than they used to. It's wonderful how we manage to find time for it all.