10 MARCH 1939, Page 6

"We shall soon lose a celebrated building," quoted Browning at

the head of his poem on the Paris Morgue. Well, we have just lost one, it seems, in Vienna. Not so very celebrated, perhaps; only the British Legation in the Metter- nichgasse in Vienna hidden away in its cul de sac opposite the English Church. Vienna being no longer a capital, there can be no more Legations there. So the building a British Government bought in 1873 for £39,000, is sold by another British Government in 1939 for £9,000—to the Nazi Flying Corps. It was not a very impressive edifice, but it had its history. Sir Maurice de Bunsen, to go no farther back than 1914 (it was an Embassy then) sent from there the first despatch that predicted the War with any precision ; two years ago it became a familiar haunt of the Duke of Windsor, who used to reFeve the boredom of his first weeks out of England by dropping in constantly on the Minister, Sir Walford Selby ; six months before the Anschluss I lunched there myself (not that that conferred much history on it), and met the very delightful permanent head of the Austrian Foreign Office, who, late many of his colleagues, was soon after spirited away to a concentration camp or worse. Let us drop a tear, as well as £30,000, over it.