28 MARCH 1970

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What chance Labour in October?

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Before the South Ayrshire by-election the Conservatives were quoted by Messrs Lad- brokes as three-to-one on favourites to win the next general election. After the South...

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Wanted: a knife for MacHeath DAVID WALDER Despite a little local difficulty in 1715, and again in 1745, for more than three hundred and sixty years the Crowns of England and...

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Duel of the hopefuls MARC ULLMANN Paris—Two men share a common ambition :• to be the next President of France. On my right, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, forty-five years old,...


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Mrs Gandhi rides the storm KULDIP NAYAR New Delhi—Outside the residence of the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, there is a traffic island which was the focal point...

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Ancient monuments GEORGE GALE It had been for many years a surprise and regret for me that I had seen neither the Acropolis nor the Pyramids. rhad been to very many countries,...

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J. W. M. THOMPSON The Government has at long last, I under- stand, decided to bring in a Bill to prohibit the cruel sport of catching fish with barbed hooks. A number of...

A hundred years ago From the 'Spectator', 26 March 1870—Mr

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Ayrton, on Monday, ordered Members and the public to keep deputations within reasonable limit under pain of death. The floors of rooms in the older public buildings were. he...

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An Easter sermon CHRISTOPHER BOOKER At no time is the mysterious interaction of joy and suffering in human life more clearly brought home to us than in spring, at Easter-...


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CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS Pray, silence. It is Mr Eaks Who speaks. Establishment has got the Gospel wrong, As he has half suspected all along. The Liberal leader leads, But Mr Eaks...

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Violence on the screen BILL GRUNDY When Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey, I take it she was doing two things, apart from producing a gem. She was taking the mickey out of...


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In the steps of Mr Gladstone R. A. CLINE Broad and muddy rivers spring from small, reasonably unpolluted sources. The Official Secrets Acts (there are now two of them), broad...

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Any complaints? JOHN ROWAN WILSON It seems likely that we are to have a new pro- cedure introduced into our hospitals very soon, to facilitate the making of complaints. There...


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My house of the arrow DENIS BROGAN I am not a great reader of detective stories. and I have orthodox tastes. I think that Holmes is by far the greatest figure in this genre. I...

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The Welsh condition EMYR HUMPHREYS In the twentieth century the concept of nationality, like the nonconformist consci- ence that used to loom so large in politics, has taken a...

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BOOKS Labyrinthine Borges

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MARTIN SEYMOUR-SMITH Borges, born in Argentina in 1899, spent the years 1914-21 in Europe, the first five of them in Geneva, the last two in Madrid, where he was involved with...

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Peel's people

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JAMES BREDIN Cumberland Heritage Molly Lefebure (Gol- lancz 45s) Middle-age in Cumberland starts at sixty or thereabouts, C. E. Benson once claimed, and he was thinking in...

Show business

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R. A. CLINE Six Studies in Hypocrisy Giles Playfair (Seeker and Warburg 50s) A. Little Pattern of French Crime Rayner Heppenstall (Hamish Hamilton 35s) Of course Dr Stephen...

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Gardner's last CYRIL RAY The Case of the Phantom Fortune Erie Stanley Gardner (Heinemann 25s) The Gold of St Matthew Duff Hart-Davis (Constable 30s) Cold Water P. M. Hubbard...

New optimist

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HENRY TUBE The House of Assignation Alain Robbe- Grillet translated by A. M. Sheridan Smith (Calder and Boyers 30s) The real hatred felt by many people for innovatory art of...

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Now and then

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TREVOR GROVE Nunquam Lawrence Durrell (Faber 30s) Lawrence Durrell poses something of a prob- lem for the critics: he is so immensely plausible—in both senses of the word....

Prophetic work

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C. M. WOODHOUSE The Life and Times of Mulam►►ad John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha) (Hodder and Stoughton 63s) Fourteen years ago Sir John Glubb was dis- missed from his post as...

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ARTS Death bed scenes

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HILARY SPURLING Gloom, grief, misgiving and the collapse of the commercial theatre as we know it come together, as might have been pre- dicted, in the opening sentences of The...

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True grit PENELOPE HOUSTON Kes (sac, Doncaster, 'U') If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium (Lon- don Pavilion, 'A') The Last Grenade (Odeon, St Martin's Lane, 'A') Ken...


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First thoughts EDWARD BOYLE Lord Robbins, in one of his most perceptive lectures, once remarked that 'If anyone should doubt what [nineteenth century] liberalism meant in...

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Easy draw BRYAN ROBERTSON If it is impossible to say without banality that one is 'deeply moved' by anything these days, it is difficult to know what else one can say of an...

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Hymn of hmm JOHN BULL My method of judging the health of Welsh industry is to look at the progress—or lack of progress--recorded by Wales's great com- panies. One's reaction...

Earth-shaking down under

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NICHOLAS DAVENPORT No one has much sympathy for the fool who is roughly parted from his money. But there is a strong feeling that Stock Exchange Councils or Security...

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From Lady Sayer, Ian Mercer, Leopold Labedz, David Morris, Stan

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Gebler Davies, Richard Witkin, Uri Davis, Michael De-la- Noy. LETTERS The rape of Dartmoor Sir: Mr Stanley Johnson's article was fac- tual in all respects, and in her attempt...

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The tenth commandment Sir: I read Mr J. Enoch Powell's

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piece on Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour (14 March) with tremendous interest. Real in- sight here, and an important message. Aid, international or local, given through...

Philosophic doubt

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Sir: After my return from abroad I have read in your correspondence column several letters dealing with the point raised by Mr Nigel Lawson in 'Spectator's notebook' (14...

On fanatiques and files

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Sir: Do I understand Mercurius Oxoniensis, whose great good sense and happily vindic- tive spirit is otherwise a great joy to me, to be advocating (7 March) the reintroduction...

Pompidou in New York

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Sir: With regard to Sir Denis Brogan's article (14 March) I would like to make a few points. Sir Denis, writing of a Jewish firm threatening to boycott a New York bank,...

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Violence pays

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Sir: I would like to comment on Mr Archi- bald Tober's letter (7 March). History is everything but 'dejective'. The historical nar- rative or the historical description of past...


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Effluent. society JOHN WELLS The annual dinner of the Royal Effluent Society is always a red letter day in the radio and television calendar, and this year's dinner in the...

New York revisited

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Sir: Having recently returned from my first visit (of eight days) to New York I have only just caught up with Ludovic Kennedy's article on that city (7 March). You will not need...


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No. 598: Name dropping Set by J. M. Crooks: In a recent speech, Sir Keith Joseph said that the Government was trying to 'Bennboozle' the country. There must be other equally...

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Chess 484

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PHILIDOR J. Hartong and D. Ivanov (1st Prize, Magyar Sakkelet, 1967). White to play and mate in three moves; solution next week. Solution to No. 483 (Loshinski-b3K2b/r1R2p1r/...

Crossword 1423

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Across 1 Empty heads should result from oriental fruit of purification (8-4) 9 'On! —, and cry you all amain, "Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain" (Troilus and Cressida) (9)...