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No to the death penalty Next week, MPs will again

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be debating one of the great moral issues of society, but in a menacing new setting brought about by the political violence of the day. Should capital Punishment be reintroduced...

ilow to devolve?

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At this late stage in the day it may seem O tiose to question either the strength of the Scottish — or the Welsh — desire for de volution, or its nature. Yet it is salutary to...

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Ross McWhirter

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Sir: Did someone speak of freedom? Ross McWhirter spoke of freedom, and Ross McWhirter is dead: killed, brutally shot down by the IRA, or some splinter allied gang, for daring...

. . . and the Government

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Sir: The dastardly murder of Mr Ross McWhirter is a further instance of terrorist escalation in England, much of the blame for which must rest on successive governments, whose...

Capital punishment

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Sir: Hard on your prediction (Notebook, November 22) Mrs Thatcher has announced her conversion to the cause of capital punishment. As the issue looks like becoming very much a...


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Sir: Robert Lindley's racist argument (Letter s ' November 22) is courageous but confusing, becau se he fails to distinguish between genetic and environ" mental factors in the...

Violence in schools

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Sir: What an amazing letter from Mr Nicholas waiter (November 22)! Does he not realise that it is because teachers ha"ie stopped using 'violence' against pupils that PnP is f...

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Flom Mrs Teresa E. Gorm an I refer to the correspondence between Mr B. P. ° rehaM and Mr Folkes ; may I speak up for the -ism lihertY, libertarianism? It is a comparatively new...


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Sir: It is to be supposed that Mr Hebblethwait3's Choi ce of possibles for the successor to Cardinal H eenan at Westminster (November 15) was based on his assumption that his...

c ,MA arms ,sirE C ongratulations on publishing Godfrey Barker's 7 r ti cle on

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American support for the IRA ('The e _ish - American file'), For too long this aspect of the _war. crucial thou g h it is, has been under-reported in ti.ntain. and even more so...

From Sir Oscar Morin nd

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Diplomats' pay SIR: Two small points for the "archive of information" which you wish to build up about the pay of diplomats: (a) A diplomat pays full income tax on his salary,...


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Sir: In Nancy Allum's article 'Go forth and be e q ual' (November 22) she uses that dotty word chair-person. Does this mean that in order to avoid bein g labelled sexists we...

Sir Keith

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Sir: Sir Keith Joseph's letter to you last week was laughable if nothin g else. Is he really saying that expressions like "ill-considered" and "infelicitous" are abusive? He...

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Political commentary

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Government is the enemy Patrick Cosgrave In the argument for at least a Bill of Rights, and possibly a written constitution which I surveyed last week there have been two...

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S Pe ct ato r 's N o teb o ok CDA / as it worth it? Mr Wilson

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must now be asking himself this question. No sensible Person will challenge Britain's right to defend her national interests within the European Co mmunity. As the Prime...

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The Palestinians

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A psychological barrier Keith Kyle The Israeli Cabinet has been divided on the Security Council resolution which extended the mandate of the UN observer force on Golan, but at...

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The car industry

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Italian fiasco Geoffrey Robinson The British Government's strictures on the Chrysler Corporation's behaviour towards its t-IK operations must have struck a strangely ho llow...


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Wake up, Mr Wilson Samuel MacPherson Nobody, and not even the Nationalists, was prepared for the Scottish reaction to last week's White Paper on Devolution. Within hours, the...

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Loch Ness

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The ageing . hypothetical Richard Luckett Whatever else it may be, it remains one of the finest records in show business. The old girl has been going since 1930 without so...

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D iscrimination

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Persons of distinction John O'Sullivan It is c haracteristic of the fussy, interfering, bu reaucratic Nanny State that it increasingly grants vast and ill-defined powers over...

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Paradoxes of an old new land Marina Warner Hong Kong is rather a shock after China. A slim fortnight in China is as dense as a nineteenthcentury novel, and as gripping. It...

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The Nagas

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Peace with Mrs Ghandi? Rawle Knox There has been little news out of India since Indira Gandhi declared herself in a state of emergency, and of course even less from Nagaland,...

An eye for an eye

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An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, So runs the ancient law. The terrorist, who kills, in truth, Deserves to live no more. "Of course I agree," said Paddy McFee, "In this...

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Nicholas Bethell on Solzhenitsyn's Archipelago

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This, the second published volume of a great work,* brings one step nearer the worldwide acceptance of a simple fact which has evaded so many minds for so many decades, that the...

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Ambition's end

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Terry Pitt Death of an Idealist John Stonehouse (W. H. Allen £3.95) The very title of this book is evidence of Mr Stonehouse's admitted schizophrenia. Norman Mailer can get...

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Mad dogs and...

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Humphry Berkeley The White Pumpkin Denis Hills (Allen and Unwin £6.95) This is an untidy, unplanned but fascinating book, a description which may equally apply to the author....

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Amours et voyages

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Richard Shone A Romantic Friendship: The Letters of Cyril C onno/iy to Noel Blakiston (Constable £5.50) "Life without love for me has always seemed like an operation without an...

Children's books

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The middle ground Isabel Quigly Between eight and eleven the bookish child really reads, reads hard, reads almost anything, as if stoking up before the moony, critical,...

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Angela Huth Clown the Water Elizabeth Kyle (Peter Davies £3.50) Delpba Green and Company Vera and Bill Cleaver (Collins £2.75) Louie!s Snowstorm E. W. Hildick (Andre Deutsch...

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Life with Mother

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Robert Nye I ought to come right out and put my cards on the table before running through this little lot of children's books for Christmas. One of the things I want from any...

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Talking of children

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Who is who? B enny Green MY Children dance blithely along the road to i i teracY with me in breathless pursuit, sets of names begin to confront me with increasing Persistence,...


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. The irony of Penguin's takeover of the prestige American publishers Viking Press can hardly have been lost on the US Justice Department. Indeed it was precisely because of the...

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Foreign students Rhodes Boyson As we sell Britain into pawn by huge overseas borrowings we also pretend that we have the resources of our Victorian ancestors by giving away...


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Beachcomber Robert Ashley I am well aware that the Times, in the shape of Mr Bernard Levin, and the Sunday Times, in the shape of Mr Ian Jack, have done him proud, but I don't...

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Trouble and strife John Linklater Matrimonial problems form an increasing Pro Portion of the workload of the general Practitioner. Psycho-sexual maladjustment and Menopausal...

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Mismatch Kenneth Hurren Walk On Walk On by Willis Hall (Liverpool Playhouse) A Room with a View by Richard Cottrell and Lance Sieveking from the novel by E. M. Forster...


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Fit for a Queen? Kenneth Robinson Rooster Cogburn Director: Hal Wallis Stars. Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne. 'TY. EmOr e ' Leicester Square (122 mins) Her Majesty the Queen,...

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In camera John McEwen Is Photography art? A debate that has raged for almost a century and a half. Why it continues is d ifficult to see. Today, for instance, there are even...


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House fillers Robin Young I hope it will not be taken amiss if I say that the most surprising and welcome thing about the London Contemporary Dance Theatre's extended season...

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General panaceas

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Nicholas Davenport The University of Oxford has just appointed a new Professor of Morbid Anatomy for 1975-76. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has assumed...

Skinflint's City Diary

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Play with your figures all you like, boys, th e Government has told accountants and industry, adjust them to your heart's content — it won't make a scrap of difference. Taking...