7 JULY 1950, Page 9


the House of Commons is one of the most agreeable events of the Parliamentary year. This year—last Monday—the guest of the evening was Sir Pelham Warner, the new President of the M.C.C. The Prime Minister, as usual, proposed the principal toast, and his

speech, Sir Pelham's in reply and Mr. Eden's in honour of the Dominions were in their several and appropriate ways well com- parable with the oratory provided in the Chamber along the corridor. Mr. Attlee, who remarked aptly that he understood Sir Pelham Warner objected to the use of cricketers' Christian names (who would speak of Warner without the Pelham ?) got little response from his Biblically-untutored audience to his neat adaptation " Where shall Wisden be found ? " Plum, as he became before the speeches had gone far, was everything that could be hoped for— reminiscent but not too much so, moving in his just laudation of cricket as an institution, studiously modest regarding his own achievements. J. M. Barrie, he recalled, had once written, " the first time I saw Mr. Warner play he made one run ; the second time he was not so successful." Sir Pelham proudly claimed to have made a duck in every British Dominion except India—which he had never visited. I doubt whether he is quite correct. Did he ever make a duck in Canada ? It would be a historic culmination to a brilliant career to persuade the greatest Dominion to take up the greatest English game in earnest.