15 MARCH 1963, Page 9

Trapped in Leipzig

Once again a number of MPs have allowed themselves to fall neatly into the trap set for them by Herr Ulbricht's regime in Eastern Germany. Surely they must be aware by now that their annual visit to the Leipzig Fair is represented in the East German press as being an official parliamentary delegation, and that every remark they make is given unwarranted importance? Brigadier Terence Clarke, in opera cloak and white woollen cap, Mr. Burnaby praYson and Mr. Godfrey Lagden may have felt they were doing something for Britain as they stepped out of a Rolls-Royce with Mr. Rudolf Sternberg (the potash importer and East Germany's biggest customer in Britain), but this is not how the majority of the East Germans see it. If they and Mr. Arthur Lewis—and Mr. Ian Mikardo too—would make it clear in every inter- view that they visit Leipzig solely as businessmen Concerned simply with furthering the trading Prospects of the companies which employ them, they would be doing something to preserve the reputation of their country.