19 APRIL 1963, Page 6

Operation Splinter

I trust that Canon Collins and the Rev. Donald Soper arc now both hot under the dog-collar at the dance they were led on this year's Alder- . maston pilgrimage. If ever CND had claims to be treated seriously, they must have evaporated amid the slanging matches between the 'March Must Deciders,' the motley array of anarchists and the campaign committee. Moreover, now that Trafalgar Square has been forsaken, the last day of the march is fast losing its spectator- value. This year there were very few beards to be spotted though I imagine this was because the majority of the marchers were too young to grow them, and the crowds who lined the top of Whitehall three deep early on Easter Monday afternoon seemed disappointed that they were denied their bloodshed, Tyburn fashion. Some anarchists did their best to provide some scuffles to keep the crowd happy, but the other three and a half miles passed by with unseemly correct behaviour, and the droves of police whiled away an afternoon's overtime playing cards in their green buses that were lurking in every street off Whitehall. The saddest comment on the final march-past came from an American tourist trying to coax his family towards the back exit from Downing Street: 'Come on,' he said, 'you won't see anything interesting out there: let's go and see if the swans are doing anything.'