11 JANUARY 1963, Page 11

Transformation Scene

This reminded me of an occasion years ago when a word from Lord Beaverbrook trans- formed a friend of mine from a demon king into a knight in shining armour. For months he had been blasted, week after week, in the Standard. When he had an invitation to dinner from Lord Beaverbrook, who wished to consult him on something or other, he was at first inclined to turn it down; but his sense of humour prevailed, and he went. Dinner passed easily enough; his advice was sought and given; and it was not until late that he raised the question of the campaign which his host's papers were running so vigor- ousts, against him. Whereupon Lord Beaverbrook dictated the appropriate words into his machine, and within a day or two paragraphs were appear- ing to let us know that 'Britain is fortunate, etc.,