2 DECEMBER 1955, Page 7

WHEN Mr. Peter Matthews, of the Foreign Office news depart-

ment, questioned about the outrageous speeches which Mr. Bulganin had been making in India, said that he 'seems to be thoroughly hypocritical,' he erred on the side of politeness. The Prime Minister's precipitate action in having the conduct of the daily press conferences at the Foreign Office taken out of Mr. Matthews's hands was an error on the side of absurdity. For ten years Mr. Matthews has handled these conferences with tact and skill and it is ludicrous that he should be humiliated for giving comparatively mild expression to an unquestionable truth. If diplomacy were still the nice business that it was fifty years ago, then no doubt his technical error would be serious. Does the Prime Minister really imagine that the spectacle of the two Russian rogue elephants trumpeting their enormous lies all round India does not merit a tiny cheep from the Foreign Office? I think that Sir Anthony's protocol panic, which has already been rewarded by an official Russian protest against Mr. Matthews's comment. is 'thoroughly hypocritical.'