18 MAY 1962, Page 7

Anglo-Russian Border Dispute The Russians are not always so obdurate

in negotiation as they sometimes seem in the greater assemblies of the world. On the wooded slopes of Highgate West Hill their large Trade Dele- gation is housed, and here they propose to build another small block of flats. There was a public inquiry at the St. Pancras Town Hall attended by some householders whose grounds march with the Russians'. One of them raised an objection to the high concrete wall with which the Russians intend to surround their demesne, or at any rate to that stretch of it which would tower on the bank overlooking her low kitchen window, prob, ably shutting off some light and certainly dam- aging the view. If the lady will call,' said the Delegation's legal adviser, Mr. Kutuzov, 'we shall come to an amicable arrangement.' On the morning after the inquiry she looked out of the kitchen window and saw workmen moving about in the undergrowth. Were they going to start work on the wall? They were. So she telephoned Mr. Kutuzov, and Mr. Kutuzov made himself immediately available. He listened; be saw; he assessed the problem with a grand sweep like that of his princely namesake who saw Bona- parte out of Russia; he summoned his staff offi- cers and on the spot gave instructions that the wall was to be set three or four feet back from the boundary. On the strip of Russian territory thus freely ceded he invited his neighbour to plant whatever trees, shrubs, flowers and climb- ing plants she wished, so that her eye would be pleased when she looked up from the dishes at the sink. 'You can't say they're unreasonable folk,' said the builders' foreman, after Mr. Kutuzov had personally marked out with his well-polished shoe the amended frontier.