1 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 7

Pushed Out

I am told by someone who was in (but only just) Conference Room D of the Cabinet Office for the press conference on the Robbins Report last week that Lord Robbins was not pleased with the treatment of the 150-odd journalists hanging on his words. He did not realise that only a hundred copies of the report were available, nor that they were half an hour late in arriving. He could, of course, see that the room was packed to suffocation. It was one of the men just inside the door who caused the real trouble. Questioning was brought to an abrupt end by the Treasury press staff, when many journalists were still trying to ask ques- tions, because Mr. Robin Day was due to telerecord an interview with Lord Robbins. Unsatisfied, hot, bothered, irritable and feeling hard done by, the journalists crowded round trying to get in one last question before the specially privileged television performers monopolised the occasion. It is an old and still sore point. Why are television performers allowed to supersede newspapermen on such occasions? This is a question that Lord Robbins himself was asking hit week. After all, one of his chief interests for some years has been the Financial Times. .I should have thought that the television people could record the press con- ferences themselves, as they frequently do in America.