15 MARCH 1963, Page 7

Danilo Dolci A slight breathlessness characterised Danilo Dolci's first day

in Britain after an absence of almost three years: but he faced a heavy pro- gramme with calm. It is difficult to visualise this smiling man moving mountains of ignorance and fear in his efforts to bring a better way of life to Sicily. He looks almost like a businessman on holiday and his present girth gives no hint of last year's desperate fast which has resulted in work being started on the long-awaited dam near Par- tinico. Press and television gave him the full treatment after his arrival by an early plane, but he withstood both the arc-lights and the more personal questions, and met impertinence with politeness and technical delays with patience. He then donned a small blue beret (in Sicily only members of the Mafia wear hats) and took his first real look at London for three years. He speaks a quick, quiet Italian and understands more English than he will attempt to speak, which makes interviewing through an interpreter much easier. We had lunch in an Italian restaurant, but he went without the pasta. He then dashed off in a taxi to snatch some sleep at a friend's house before resuming the round of interviews and meetings. A heavy programme of public meetings has been arranged for him by his supporters all over the country.