29 MARCH 1963, Page 6

Faut Pas Toucher Still, the distaste one feels for witch-hunting

does not alter the fact that public men do well to be careful about their social activities; and I think that one may suggest without priggish- ness that standards have been somewhat neglected recently. Scandalmongering is despicable, but `woe to him by whom the offence cometh' is not a bad device for the leader of a party. A French politician at the time of the Stavisky case re- marked that his sergeant during the war used to say: 'Faut pus toucher a la mitrailleuse si on a les mains sales.' Government, in this respect, is much like a machine-gun, except that those who handle it should have hands not merely clean but ostentatiously so.