10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 24


is not often that " Janus " and I differ, but his note last week about Herr Hitler's speech calls for a reply. I listened to that speech throughout its 535 minutes, and am convinced that the Fiihrer was talking twice as fast as the 120 words a minute estimated by " Janus " (which would be a very slow speed indeed; I always reckon 150 words a minute when I broadcast).

The verbatim record of the speech filled 30 columns of the Voelkischer Beobachter. I have not counted the number of words in a column of that newspaper, but I imagine there must be about r,000, which would suggest that my estimate was not far wrong. In the opinion of one of the most ex- perienced shorthand writers in Fleet Street, the speed was about zoo words a minute, rising at times to 300.

There is, as " Janus " will admit, a very considerable difference between a " full " and a " verbatim " report.—Yours,

[" Janus" writes: A considered calculation of length and speed is included in my column today. With regard to Mr. Vernon Bartlett's last paragraph, I should have thought that the average newspaper reader would assume a full report of a speech to be a report of the speech in full. If not, what does " full " mean?—Ed. The Spectator.]