11 JANUARY 1963, Page 11

Non - Aggression Pact Lord Mountbatten's opening of the Express.. sponsored Boat

Show .gave the Fleet Street gas- sips something to bite on. Had there' been a Beaverbrook-Mountbatten rapprochement, and if so, what lay behind it? Sunday left no doubt that peace had been declared, for there was Cross- bencher discussing in highly civil and flattering terms Lord Mountbatten's alleged desire to serve in due course as a non-party Minister of Defence. Who or what had spiked the guns that had been potting at Lord Mountbatten for more years than anyone can remember'? The peacemaker, so I am told, was Mr. Roy Thomson, who in all innocence invited Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Mountbatten to the same small dinner party. I believe that the unexpected confrontation pro- duced first a sudden embarrassment and then an equally sudden reconciliation; after which Lord Beaverbrook no doubt issued one of those snappy edicts by which the attitudes of his newspapers to individuals can be instantly reversed.