5 JUNE 1964, Page 11

Little Did I Know . . .

One of my minor eccentricities used to be collecting anecdotes under the heading 'Little did I know . . .' Political memoirs are the most fruitful field for these exercises in hindsight, and the gem was from Lord Attlee's autobiography. In about 1895 a young boy called William Jowitt was put in his care at their prep school. Then follows this sentence: 'We had no presenti- ment that years later we should be colleagues in Government nor that he would marry one of three pretty little girls who lived next door to us at Putney.'

And now delving into old memories for my D-Day article I have unearthed one of my own. Little did I know when as Major Macleod I attended AQ conferences at 2nd Army that my companion in 50 Division, Major Urton, would become Sir William Urton, Director-General of the Tory Party; that Colonel Poole, our senior at 30 Corps, would become joint chairman with me; that I would invite Brigadier Selwyn Lloyd of 2nd Army to undertake a review of the party organisation; that the CO of one of our regi- ments, Lieut.-Colonel Eric Edwards, would re- appear as Lord Chelmer, chairman of the National Executive; and that Major Turton, who was my predecessor in 50 Division, would succeed me as Minister of Health. As General Graham, who commanded 50 Division, used to say, 'You always meet the same people in war.' It's nice to know that some of them met in peace as well.