26 JULY 1940, Page 3

'The Silent Column"

With that felicity of phrase of which he is a recognised aster the Prime Minister adroitly but decisively gave the oup de grace on Tuesday to the "Silent Column" campaign aunt:tied by the Ministry of Information some ten days ago. he movement, according to the Prime Minister, has passed [Ito innocuous desuetude. The desuetude is unquestionably ocious, but it is by no means so certain that the campaign self was. It savoured far too much, in spite of Mr. Harold icol,on's attempt to put the best face on it at Hendon last und.y, of precisely. the kind of repression of free discussion hid, the Prime Minister is the first to deprecate. Nor is it tricfly accurate to say that "when the idea was put down in lack and white it did not look by any means so attractive." e linistry of Information put it down in very conspicuous lack and white at the cost of several thousands of pounds in dyer.isements in dinrent papers, and the first advertisements vidently looked so attractive that they were frequently eoeated ; one, indeed, occupied a prominent position in The Times the day after Mr. Churchill's statement. That, however, is no doubt the end, and it is particularly satisfactory that the Prime Minister should have called for immediate examination and revision of the absurd sentences passed by benches all over the country, after charges brought by over-officious police, on numbers of persons guilty at the worst of foolish garrulity. The revision should be swift as well as sane.