19 APRIL 1963, Page 6

Spectator's Notebook

T KNOW that British immigration officials are a llot of thugs. I am convinced of the turpitude of the law. I admit that the Home Office is the most reactionary organisation of its kind since the Czarist Okhrana. But I must all the same dis- sent from the opinion of those worthy people who see in the double refusal to admit Lennie Bruce to this country the greatest blow to free- dom of thought since the trial of Galileo. Mr. Bruce by his own admission to the press has been convicted three times for the illegal possession of drugs; it was hardly to be ex- pected that officials—a stuffy-minded bunch of men at the best of times—would welcome him with open arms. However, were I tempted to regard Mr. Bruce as a martyr, I have a feeling that the remarks of the proprietor of The Establishment would have put me off. At the time of the first expulsion Mr. Luard said, 'I . . . stand to lose between £2,000 and £3,000 by this.' A week later he commented, . . this is Fascism.' I see what he is getting at, of course, but I am none too sure that I like it.