18 JUNE 1948, Page 5

On Wednesday of this week the Bristol Evening Post Ltd.

announced a dividend for the last year of 20 per cent. tax free, no ordinary achievement for an independent (or any other) evening paper. The remarkable and rather romantic story of the struggle so signally crowned was told to the Royal Commission on the Press in March. It began in 1929, when Lord Northcliffe started a new paper in Bristol, the Evening World, in rivalry with the Evening Times and Echo owned by the Berry group, and the Evening News, associated with the Western Daily Press. The result of the cut-throat' competition was that first the Evening News disappeared altogether, and then the Evening Times was bought by Lord Northcliffe's Evening World, which thus became the only evening paper in the city. This was too much for the public-spirited citizens of Bristol, who got together, put up money, engaged a staff many of whom consented to serve at reduced salaries, and started the Evening Post. It seemed a forlorn hope, but actually the paper covered cost the first year, and soon drove the Northcliffe paper so hard that the latter was glad to come to terms. A working arrangement was reached, a holding company, the Bristol United Press, being formed, through Which the Evening Post, which owns all its own shares, secures a controlling interest in the Evening World also. It is a

triumphant achievement, and the dividend just announced demon- strates signally the material aspect of it.