16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 6

It is difficult to know what quality in John Buchan's

unique personality stands out most conspicuously, but the New York paper which spoke of his " distinction " found the one right word for him. There was distinction in everything he said and did. Scotland, Oxford, South Africa, Westminster, all contributed something to his make-up. Politically he was a Conservative of the best type, a type so good that it is only for convenience that it tolerates the restriction of Party labels. The fact that, as it turned out, there was a Liberal Prime Minister in office during the whole of his Governor-Generalship was completely immaterial. " I have known Mackenzie King for thirty years and greatly like him," he wrote to me at the time of his appointment, and the relationship between the two men has been one of unbroken cordiality. Canada's grief drives home the realisation of what the Commonwealth, and Scotland, which was Buchan's country, and England, where he lived and worked, have lost. At Ottawa he can be succeeded, but not replaced. * * * *