15 MARCH 1940, Page 16

I know that he was being truthful, since he is

a man who does not care for evasions. Yet is it really a fact that men and women of great intellectual power never allow their minds to soak in the warm waters of fantasy? Can it be true that when Mr. Maynard Keynes ceases to think hard about the greater or lesser consumption of goods, he does not sink back into the indulgence of picturing a world governed with rigid benevolence from the Combination Room at King's? Can it be true that in those rare moments when the Lord Provost of Glasgow ceases to worry about housing he never imagines himself as a householder in Honolulu? Can it be true that, when a Cabinet Minister ceases to think of himself as he is, he does not begin to think of himself as he might have been? Or is it a fact, as some people aver, that only ineffectual people seek release from their own ineffectiveness in long sessions of sweet silent thought? I wish I knew. It is a delicate sub- ject and I propose (since I am weary of politics and this embattled world) to discuss it with indelicacy. * * * *