Postscript • • • 'WELL, if that's the law, there
must be something wrong with it.' It was a lawyer who said so, commenting on the story of the man who was got out yof bed by the police, taken into custody, examined by a doctor and eventually fined £50 at Surrey Quarter Sessions, and ordered to pay £20 costs, for having been drunk in charge of the car he had left in the road an hour before the police came (alerted by a passer-by) and got him out of bed. Admittedly, the man concerned had pleaded guilty, having been advised to do so—presumably because his lawyer knew, the curious proviso in Section 6 (2) of the Road Traffic Act of 1960. This requires anyone charged with being drunk in charge of a car to prove, if he is to get off, not only that he was unlikely at the material time to continue to drive (that would have been easy enough for a man in bed at the time) but that 'between be- coming unfit to drive and the material time he had not driven a vehicle on a road or other public place.'
All the same, it seems to a layman a rum sort of law that finds a man in bed guilty of being drunk in charge, and lets off another man (as it did the other day in Nottingham) who was slumped over the bonnet of his car, on the grounds that he was too tight to drive it at all. The moral seems to be not to stick at one for the road, but to make sure of a skinful.
* I suppose I ought to have known better than to employ irony in welcoming the exclusive coloured pictures of potatoes offered by Erwin Wasey, Ruthrauff and Ryan for our June num- ber. The glad word has npw gone round the other toilers in the public-relations vineyard that the Spectator, that well-known illustrated monthly, is in the market for glossy photo- graphs, and not only have Erwin Wasey, Ruth- rauff and Ryan, themselves, as reported here last week, now put us on their list for photographs of New Zealand lamb, as well as of new potatoes, but the Fruit Information Service of Mathers Public Relations have sent us a picture of a bowl of fruit and two boiled eggs, captioned 'Start the Day with Sunshine: "March winds and April showers" may indeed give way to "sweet May flowers," but in the meantime they are still with us in no uncertain manner,' and a great deal more in the same prose style.
Not to be outdone, a company which sells tinned foods in some variety has sent the editor a letter that begins, 'As Editor you are doubtless aware of the keen interest shown by housewives in new and interesting ways of serving quickly- prepared dishes': a recipe for making tinned tomato soup taste like something other than tinned tomato soup; and a glossy photograph of three bowls of tinned tomato soup, typical of the many such pictures, the writer explains, which it is hoped will be of interest to our readers, and available as soon as we ask to be put on the mailing list. Accompanying the picture, letter and recipe is a stamped addressed postcard on which we are asked to inform the company on what date we shall publish the recipe and whether we shall illustrate it with the photo- graph—this postcard being an interesting new public-relations device I have come across only once before that saves the busy accounts executive the tedium of reading and the expense of buying copies of the journal the readers of which he seeks to influence. But I forgive the sender of this particular postcard a lot : it also bears the sentence, 'Please do/do not send further material.'
Guess what. * You'll soon be able to tell Sunday Telegraph readers a mile off. A sixteen-year-old boy is advised in the current number not to wash his hair once a week—'you're too fastidious . . . once every three weeks is enough.'
It looks as though wine prices are going to go on going up. Louis Jadot, one of the greatest of all the Beaune shippers, has reported to his London agents, Hatch Mansfield, that the 1961 white burgundies, though exceptionally good, are very short in quantity, and that there was only about half the normal crop of red burgundy and Beaujolais. 'What is wanted now is three big successive vintages of good average quality. Until this occurs, how can prices come down? The farmer still has to pay his workers, buy his fertilisers, and replace his equipment as it wears out, all of which costs more and more each year.' And another firm, Hedges and Butler, warn their customers that when they have bottled the 1961 Calon-Segur they will have to sell it in 1965 at 30s., whereas the same wine of the 1953 vintage is still listed at 15s. 6d. I am not going to quote a wine of the week this time, but simply pass on Hedges and Butler's advice: invest in 1955s and 1959s. Any good wine-merchant will be glad to help you, for his own sake, as well as yours: he has to turn these stocks over to get the money for the dearer wines to come.