27 APRIL 1951, Page 5

The Anglo-German Press Conference held at Konigswinter. near Bonn, last

week-end did very useful work, though no concrete results were achieved, or indeed attempted. Many problems—such as the shortage and cost of newsprint, the relation between news and comment, the duty of the leader. writer and so on—were common to both countries, and partici- pants in the discussions on these spoke more as journalists pure and simple than as British or German journalists. What tbo Germans gained from the conference they best know. What the British gained was knowledge, new to most of them, of the formidable difficulties which the new-born German Press has had. and still has, to contend with—break with tradition, lack of capital, lack of printing presses and—as an arresting addresi on the opening day insisted—the re-establishment of ex-Nazi s in leading positions on various papers. Opinions differed among the Germans themselves as to whether, and how far. this asser- tion was an exaggeration. The most balanced of them thought it was, and a sound point was made by one speaker who said that for him the question was not what a man was, but what he is. While there is obvious need for vigilance, Englishmen, at any rate, do not do well to declare rather sanctimoniously that what is needed in Germany is a change of heart and at the samo time refuse to believe in an individual German's change of heart,

* * * *