12 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 9

A Pyrrhic Victory

Um' sorry that 1 was not under the table at the luncheon party (if party is the word) at which Messrs. Brown and Wilson bullied Mr. Cecil Harmsworth King into reprieving the Daily !Jerald until after the general election. 1 (and, I'm sure, the world at large) would have relished a blow-by-blow account Of this extraordinary encounter. The main argument that the Labour leaders used (apart from Mr. King's past promises) was, I am told, that the paper is still the chief source of enlightenment and encourage- ment to the faithful party worker on whom the burden of the election campaign will fall; that there was no certainty that Mr. King's new radical daily would be out by the election and little probability that the party faithful would buy it when it appeared. In the short term this 13 a strong case, but 1 can't help feeling that in the long run Labour may pay dearly for this respite. The situation in, say, a year's time may well be that such interest and enthusiasm as have been generated by the idea of the new daily will have been dissipated, and that Mr. King and Mr. Cudlipp will be in a sulky mood.