28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 4

This country owed a very great debt to General Patton,

who was one of the really outstanding soldiers of the war. There were many unattractive things about him, his flamboyance, his sense of show- manship, his rigidly reactionary outlook, his violent temper. But he was a profoundly serious student of war and he was a really great commander in the field. His pursuit of the enemy after the break- out from our bridgehead in Normandy, the part he played in the defeat of Rundstedt's offensive and subsequently his crossing of the Moselle were pre-eminently brilliant performances ; his insistence on speed and aggressiveness saved this country and his own many lives and invaluable time ; and I wish there were some appropriate way in which we could show our gratitude to him. Talking to someone who knew and admired him I was told of an incident at the war-game which Field-Marshal Montgomery held at St. Paul's School immediately before the invasion. All the commanders and their staffs were present, and as the Field-Marshal is a stickler for punctuality they all knew they must be in their seats ten minutes before he opened the proceedings. It was a very dramatic occasion ; but perhaps its most dramatic moment was Patton's arrival—late. The Field-Marshal, unlike General Eisenhower, never appreciated Patton at his true worth ; but he never appreciated him less than then. I wish he would pay a tribute to his great services now.