20 DECEMBER 1963, Page 3

— Portrait of the Week— THE FINAL CHAPTER of 'By-Elections 63'

headed Dumfries gave little firm indication of the result of the Mods v, Rockers squabble. As politicians faced months of a starvation diet of opinion polls, they seemed convinced that Dumfries was yet another separate chapter heading, rather than ringing in the new a la Luton or ringing back the old it la Kinross. Even so, considering the Tory vote fell by 18 per cent, and their majority by 6,500 to 971, with a swing that if nationally repeated would mean a Labour majority of 180, it was surprising that the successful Tory candi- date, not yet a Cabinet member, should comment that 'we can claim the result as a vote of con- fidence in the twelve years of Tory rule'. Other by-election incidents resulted in a Young Liberal being allowed a summons for common assault against Mr. Hogg : hearing January 16. Through his solicitors, Bull and Bull, Mr. Hogg claimed that marauding Young Liberals, showing their contempt for established institutions, had 'assaulted' himself, his wife and his 'teenage daughter'. As a reminder of times past, Mr. Macmillan spoke in the long-awaited Denning debate, which was hardly worth waiting for, and Danish film critics found The Life of Christine Keeler 'dull' and 'boring'. Even Miss Keeler could not satisfy everyone.

ONE WEEK To CHRISTMAS, and a gentle midwinter madness set in. London busmen received a rise; railwaymen refused their offered rise, so Dr. Beeching offered more. MPs were quietly promised a rise after the election, and the cost of living reached a record level. The police found £50,000 of the Train Robbery haul : only another £2,298,000 and the police will have recovered the lot. The Norwich Union insurance company reeled under the publicity of the Mancroft resig- nation: while more directors resigned, Arab boy- cott offices issued names of black-listed companies. Meanwhile, Egypt banned the film Cleopatra because of Miss Taylor's Jewish sympathies. Also in the film world, Shepperton studios are to shut down film-making, but Mr. Davis, head of one of the major circuits, insisted 'the public does not want films about the kitchen sink or a sermon on a North of England which no longer exists'. The Berlin Wall is to be opened for Christmas. Mr. George Brown was admitted to hospital and two men were executed for capital murder.


A CRUCIAL WEEK for the Common Market, meet- ing to settle its fate. Mr. Nkrumah dismissed his Chief Justice, Sir Arku Korsah, presumably for acquitting defendants in a treason trial. US foreign aid was cut by the House of Representatives, while Mr. Khrushchev is to cut military spending to boost the consumer market. Newly independent Kenya is to drop the BBC news, because the Corporation referred to 'freedom fighters' as 'Matt Mau terrorists': the Duke of Edinburgh refused to meet five Mau Mau generals who suddenly appeared from the forest, and Mr. Kenyatta walked out of a 'Miss Uhuru' contest because the Kenya Army band forgot to play the national anthem when he arrived. As Chou En-lai began his Middle Eastern tour, the Holy Land prepared to greet the Pope, with some hotel• prices soaring to £178 per night.


LORD ARRAN DENIED he had been offered a Tory seat, but Lord. Snowdon is to join the Arts Council. The model who appeared nude at the Edinburgh Festival was acquitted, as was a man accused of selling a redundant railway station for £30. Children who write to Santa Claus in Rein- deerland, Greenland or Iceland, will receive a prompt reply from the GPO, although adults who ask-when their phones will be installed won't. CND decided not to hold an Aldermaston march next Easter, and New College, Oxford, remained sceptical towards a suggestion that it should go co-educational.