2 DECEMBER 1955, Page 7

DURING THE DAYS he spent with Edward VIII, Sir Samuel

Hoare became convinced that the King was determined to marry Mrs. Simpson. and, since he was a personal friend of the King, it is almost certain that his information weighed far more heavily with Baldwin than anything which Dawson did or said. But what exactly did Dawson do'? His only other important intervention was on November 11: 'A talk also with the Archbishop at Lambeth . . . [who had] made up his mind (wisely I thought) that any intervention on his part would do more harm than good. Apart from his ecclesiastical position, his friendship with the late King put him out of court.' It is worth noting that this (along with such other evidence as has been available for a long time) disposes of the idea that Archbishop Lang played an important part in the Abdication. Does Mr. Pitman mention this? Of course not. He has his story to tell. He goes on to say that the King 'was alone—shuttered off from public opinion.' This is abso- lute nonsense. Edward VIII had access to every channel which is normally available to a King to collate public opinion. Moreover, when he asked (as constitutionally he was bound to do) whether he could consult the two Ministers who were his personal friends, Sir Samuel Hoare and Duff Cooper, Baldwin readily agreed. These two friends, interpreting public opinion differently, gave him opposite advice. But 'shuttered off'—that is just another distortion in Mr. Pitman's dis- reputable article. A month ago the same sort of journalists were painting a similarly misleading picture about Princess Margaret—and were taking in the same sort of people.