2 JULY 1948, Page 9

The virtual certainty of a change of occupant at the

White Housd next January raises the important question of how extensive the consequential changes are likely to be. The so-called " spoils- system "—under which all kinds of offices must under a Republican Administration go to good Republicans and under a Democratic to good Democrats—has always been one of the less estimable features of American politics. The New York Times in a recent issue castigates Republican Senators who desire to limit and abbreviate the appointment of Mr. David E. Lilienthal as head of the Atomic Energy Commission on purely political grounds. The importance of the post Mr. Lilienthal holds is beyond computation. The New York Times characterises the intentions of " the Senate policy- makers " as " playing peanut politics with the nation's greatest opportunity and most ominous danger." A personal question in which this country has a special and a deep interest is the position of the American Ambassador, Mr. Lewis Douglas. The new Secre- tary of State (for it seems to be assumed that Mr. Marshall will not remain, almost completely non-party though he is) will, of course, make his own decisions, but it may be permissible at least to hope that an envoy who has won respect and regard here in a quite unusual degree, and served his country's interests as faithfully and effectively as any of his long line of distinguished predecessors, will be left, in spite of changes at Washington, in an office which no man could fill better and many might easily fill worse. * *