6 MARCH 1953, Page 5

When it was announced at the beginning of the 9

o'clock news last Saturday evening that the news bulletin would be followed by a party political broadcast, groans no doubt went up from a million homes where Saturday Night Theatre was being awaited with some impatience. As a matter of fact what Mr. James Griffiths gave was what I should suppose was the least partisan party political broadcast on record. If I remember rightly, the only reference to party in it was mention of the fact that certain advances towards self-government in parts of Africa had been the work of the Labour Government. For the rest it was an eloquent, and at times almost passionate, plea against the imposition of the Central African Federation pro- posals on unwilling Africans. And on that there is no general party view. Mr. R. R. Stokes, a Minister in the last Labour Government, is all for pressing forward with federation. So is that very high authority on African affairs, Professor W. M. Macmillan, who, though he is no party man, has always tended more to the Left than the Right. On the other side, of course. is that at least equally high authority, Miss Margery Perham. The fact is that on this question the arguments pro and con are so nicely balanced that it is a matter of the utmost difficulty for the honest student of affairs to decide between them. The kind of tempestuous irresponsibility with which, for example, the British Weekly charges with " impotence " those Free Church- men who do not share its own extreme views on federation can do nothing but darken counsel. * * * *