2 JULY 1948, Page 9

Party courtesies are not so frequent that they should go

un- recorded. When General Smuts agreed to come to England to be installed as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, it was naturally arranged that he would travel by a South African Government aeroplane, since he was Prime Minister of the Union. But by the date of his journey he had ceased to be Prime Minister, and alternative accom- modation had to be sought. That proved not only difficult but virtually impossible, for every seat in every commercial plane about the date in question was booked. There was also the question of the by no means inconsiderable fare from Capetown to London and back. At this juncture the new Prime Minister, Dr. Malan, heard of the difficulty. His reaction was immediate and decisive. Of course General Smuts must use a Government plane ; there could be no question about it ; it was completely at his disposal. So it was arranged—and the arrangement deserves to be known.

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