23 NOVEMBER 1962, Page 10

Spectator's Notebook

ANYONE who has read Dr. Cruise O'Brien's book To Katanga and Back must agree that it is a minor classic of political description, which thoroughly deserves the praise it has re- ceived. But they must also ask themselves how so dynamic a diplomat with such persuasively forceful views on the future of Africa could relapse into a job of academic administration which, while it must afford great scope for diplomacy, must inevitably seem a little tame after the excitements of Elisabethville. Perhaps this is why it is being said that Dr. O'Brien in the short time he has been in Ghana has become one of President Nkrumah's confidants and was even consulted about the latter's letter to Mr. Macmillan on the subject of Chinese aggression against India. If this is true, he has certainly helped to give as decisive a turning to Ghanaian diplomacy as any Talleyrand of peace could desire.