4 JANUARY 1975

Page 1

No reason

The Spectator

• for gloom The fault, Cassius told Brutus, lies in ourselves, and not in our stars, that we are underlings. So it is with Britain on the threshold of the gloomiest New Year in...

Page 2

Bankruptcy reform

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The intolerable behaviour of Mr John Stonehouse is a matter for his constituents and the authorities, though his evidently self-inflicted plight draws attention to one certain...

The Darwin disastee

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Whatever the scope or extent of our own problems they cannot measure up to the sheer misery of the people of Darwin. A natural disaster has not merely hurt Darwin, but destroyed...

Bangladesh travail

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The decision of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to declare a state of emergency in Bangladesh is a wise one, provided that the time thus gained is used for the implementation of a...

African hopes

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The Foreign Secretary's African tour may give an extra twist to the process of change so recently and dramatically begun in Africa. Clearly, Mr Callaghan is full of hope that...

Page 3

Man of the year

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Sir: In these columns, in your last issue of 1974, William C. Catto urged readers to submit postcards to the presenters of BBC Radio programmes, The World at One and PM Reports,...

Debasement of education

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Sir: It is not only direct grant schools (Rhodes Boyson, December 28) that are threatened or private schools either in the current doctrinaire and anti-intellectual climate of...

Political truths

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Sir: In reply to Mr James Towler, who claims that Mr Heath's pushing of the truth angle proves two major points, I would state that he has omitted the most important point of...

Christmas thoughts

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Sir: My wife and I were gratified to read your editorial for the Christmas issue with its reference to the Christian Message. We have been wondering, as the economic situation...


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From Lady Foot Sir: Mr George Cole refers in his 'Personal Column' (December 21), to the Guardian as a sanctimonious establishment. Has he read the leading article in your paper...

Gold futures

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Sir: Mr Stahl's views on gold expressed in your issue of November 9 exhibit, to my mind, an unawareness of human nature in that, this time, not Germany alone, as after the...

Court reporting

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• Sir: It appears that the contempt laws relating to the reporting of court proceedings are once again under assault. One small section of the realm alone can hope to gain from...

Defence economies

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Sir: In its zeal for economy the Government would do well to make drastic cuts in the 112,000 civil servants in the Ministry of Defence. It is ludicrous to suppose that anything...

Page 4

Bringing the Market into the open

The Spectator

Patrick Cosgrave It is agreed almost universally that, in the New Year, Britain will enter a period of almost unmitigated crisis. On all sides, and most recently from that most...

Page 5

A Spectator's Notebook

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There was a time when to enter the public service at Whitehall or Westminster meant a high degree of vocation and the sacrifice of the financial rewards open to those who chose...

Westminster Corridors

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As my Cousin Addison once wrote: - 1 have often thought there has not been sufficient pains taken in finding out proper employments and diversions for the fair ones. Their...

Page 6

Today's debts and tomorrow's money

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G.M. Lewis By 'nominalism' is meant that if in 1975 a man undertakes to pay £100 in 1985, he can fulfil his obligation only by paying notes, coin or whatever else is legal...

Page 7

100 years of Suez

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'The Pasha's Revenge' Maurice Samuelson The Egyptian Government has announced that the Suez Canal will be opened in June. In planning his triumphant reopening of the Suez...

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Spy centre of the West? Margaret Millar A few weeks ago the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, pressed to seek assurance from the governments of Britain, America and the USSR,...

Page 9

Personal column

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George Gale All the amateur prophets of nature's behaviour have been saying for months that we're in for a hard winter. On the whole, I hope they are right. I like weather of...

Page 10


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Pornography and the degradation of the individual David Holbrook This article, in an only slightly different form, was accepted by the Times some months ago and galley proofs...


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Hopes and fears Bill Grundy Sometimes in the lonely watches of the night, I wake up and wonder why my constant perusal of the press hasn't driven me mad. My first reaction, at...

Page 11


The Spectator

The ratings game Philip Kleinman Happy New Year, and I hope you had a Merry Christmas. Whether your merriment was caused in greater part by the entertainment provided by the...

Page 12


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Don't forget the sailor Oliver Stewart So, the Royal Yachting Association is giving up the battle. "Compul sory registration of craft," says its President, "would seem likely...


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Growing waste Bernard Dixon IF all available sulphite liquor (effluent from the paper industry), whey (cheese creamery waste), and molasses were used to grow microbes for...

Rel i gion

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Praying thoughts Martin Sullivan It has been my invariable custom for some long time to see the passing of the old year and the dawn of the new on my knees in church, at the...

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The Spectator

Peter Ackroyd on some little English versifiers Since there is not one good poem in this Poetry Supplement*, and since it has been distributed for Christmas in the same spirit...

Page 14

Sponge or stingray?

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Francis King Venice Letters Baron Corvo (Cecil and Amelia Woolf £2.10) Collected Poems Baron Corvo (Cecil and Amelia Woolf £2.10) The Armed Hands Baron Corvo (Cecil and •...

A monument of scholarship

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Robert Blake Horace Walpole's Correspondence edited by W. S. Lewis Vols. 37, 38 and 39 (Oxford University Press and Yale University Press £12.95 each volume) The Yale edition...

Page 15

Eliot had the word for it

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John Blackwood One mark of recognition of an author's work is the quotation, borrowing or just the plain theft of his words. By this standard T. S. Eliot's work, just ten years...

Page 16

Talking of books

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Victorian rake and rebel Benny Green In Hesketh Pearson's urbane and friendly life of Dickens, there comes a startling moment when he is obliged to face up to the daunting...


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Bookend As the first university term drew to its close in early December, Bookbuyer was treated to the all-too familiar undergraduate complaints over the high price of books,...

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The Spectator

Kenneth Robinson on good pictures and bad language Badlands Director/ writer: Terrence'Malick. Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek. 'X' Academy One (93 minutes) The Front Page...


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Marriage lines Rodney _Manes After all those serious summer evenings in Sussex, you could be pardoned for forgetting that Le Nozze di Figaro is actually a comic opera. Peter...

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Downstairs, upstairs Evan Anthony Although, admittedly, I was champing at the bit a bit to get to the Klee exhibition upstairs, the Hayward Gallery's other half of the bill,...

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Looking back and forward (2) Nicholas Davenport. Having said that the first sector in the stock markets to get out of its doldrums would be the property market, I assigned the...

A fool and his money

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Contract, compact, pact, plot? Bernard Hollowood No one seems to know how, when, where or why the 'social contract' originated. Conservatives claim to be totally in the dark...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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It seems a bit bah humbug to be beastly about charities (I am not referring to dubiously conceived private charitable trusts) at this time of year but since this is the time...