4 MARCH 1949, Page 5

That Mr. C. A. Elliott, on abandoning the Headmastership of

Eton at the end of the summer half, should succeed to the Provostship left vacant by the death of Sir Henry Marten was no doubt in the natural order of things ; at any rate it is what everyone expected to happen. But there are some obvious drawbacks to the arrangement. Someone recently said of Mr. Elliott himself, "what is the position of a headmaster who has the Chairman of his Governing Body living next door to him on one side, and the Vice-Chairman next door to him on the other ? " When the Chairman happens to be the ex- headmaster the question becomes more pertinent still. A recent ex-Premier observed on the occasion of his resignation that thereafter he would neither talk to the man at the wheel nor spit on the deck. Mr. Elliott can be relied on not to spit on the deck, but in his new position he can hardly avoid speaking to the man at the 'wheel. Mr. Robert Birley, the new headmaster, of course, realises the position and accepts it, no doubt unreservedly. Still—. * * * *