22 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 7

A Question of Meaning Another aspect of the Barghoorn case

(one quote from the unfortunate Professor I liked: '1 did not even visit a Soviet home- or speak for more than a few minutes with a member of the opposite sex. That's how careful I was!') is the difference in connotations between West and East. When we speak of democracy, we mean something quite different from the mean- ing of the word in the Communist mind. Now it is .clear that 'spying' also has two different meanings. To us, it implies the gleaning and transmission of State secrets, but to the Com- munists it means 'Asking questions.' Barghoorn's case had an almost exact parallel two years ago when a young American economist, Frederic L. Prior, visited East Berlin in connection with a study he was making of the CoMmunist foreign trade system. Prior asked some pointed questions of East German officials which they did not like. After one of these interviews, somebody obviously said, 'I don't like these questions. Arrest him!' And thus it came about that Prior. along with Gary Powers of U2 notoriety, found himself exchanged for Colonel Abel at a poignant little scene at one of the checkpoints in the Berlin Wall.