15 AUGUST 1958, Page 3

Portrait of the Week

SUDDENLY, Mr. Macmillan flew off to Greece and Turkey to talk about Cyprus. On the way back he stopped in Cyprus itself. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly was assembling in New York for a special session which was launched with an opening address from President Eisen- hower. In his speech, which followed the expected lines, he put forward a 'six-point plan for peace.' Ills proposals included an economic development plan for aiding the Middle East countries, a stand- by UN peace force and steps to avoid a new arms race spiral. There was no sign of Mr. Khrushchev arriving, though the Soviet Post Office had been busy once again only a day or two before, with another round of letters to Mr. Mac- millan and others, with one to Mr. Karamanlis for bad measure. General de Gaulle struck a new note by declaring that he couldn't see that Mr. Khrush- chev's letter to him needed an answer at all. Mr. Macmillan's dramatic flight to Athens to see Mr. Karamanlis does not appear to have produced any immediately practical results. The atmosphere was cordial, though a communiqud after the talks declared that there were outstanding points of difference. In Ankara, his discussions with Mr. Menderes seemed to have produced a slight soften- ing of the Turkish attitude.


There were other voyagers. The USS Nautilus sailed beneath the North Pole ice-cap, thus fulfill- ing at last the ancient dream of discovering the North-West Passage, and joining the Atlantic to the Pacific in a manner that stout Cortez never thought of in his wildest surmise. Commander Anderson and his crew were decorated by President Eisenhower, and rapturously received by the American Ambassador and most of the popula- tion, when they arrived in Portland, Dorset (which apparently had priority over Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon). A few days later the USS Skate repeated the feat of the Nautilus. In a week of element-conquering, the record-breaking trans- atlantic trip by the new Comet airliner did not go unreMarked, particularly by those who are doing their best to persuade the authorities at Idlewild airport to ban it. on the grounds that it is too noisy, in favour of indigenous jet-aircraft.


Timed to coincide with the General Assembly's meeting, a battalion of American troops began to withdraw from the Lebanon. Admiral Holloway having half-heartedly suggested that this might be the beginning of a general withdrawal, the State Department (which had earlier been busy re- affirming its belief that China does not exist) as half-heartedly denied it. As their own contribution to peace, the Syrians attempted to shoot down a Lebanese airliner which was believed (erroneously) to be carrying the Jordan delegation to New Yorl:: only some quick thinking and action by the New Zealand pilot saved the aircraft, which had been instructed to fly over the runway in order to bring it within range of the anti-aircraft guns.

At home, little took place to drive the inter- national events into the background. The report by the United. Nations scientific group that had been examining the effects of thermo-nuclear bomb tests and other radiation hazards created little stir, largely because . of the -inevitably inconclusive results. Mr. John Wardle and the Yorkshire Cricket Club continued to throw fissionable material at one another, heedless of the fall-out, and it went on raining.