7 AUGUST 1964, Page 10

Spectator's Notebook

Readers of the Spectator will need little re- minding who Vigne is. He is a former national vice-chairman of the South African Liberal Party and, till events made it impossible, a con- tributor to this paper. Until recently, one of the Spectator's sources for South African news, and in particular for what was happening to Vigne whose own letters could not get through, was a very generous collection of press cuttings sent by a South African friend. It is impossible to say how many of those dispatched actually got through, but we did receive a pretty, constant supply. This supply has not dried up. It is simply that someone is opening up the envelopes, taking out the original cuttings and replacing them with cuttings giving elaborate accounts of Dr. Ver- woerd's love of freedom and respect for the rights of an opposition. The following splendid quote we have been presented with is from a reply by Verwoerd to Mr. Henry Kenney, a Cape Town businessman, who had protested to the Prime Minister that his house had been raided by the police : the Prime Minister has no knowledge of the

circumstances or the reasons your house was raided by the police. He is sure of one fact, and that is that it is not because you are an out- spoken critic of the Government, or its policy.

Criticism and political opposition is the right of any citizen and the Prime Minster and his Government would be the last to condemn this or to prevent it.