30 DECEMBER 1972, Page 7

Corridors . .

PUZZLE HEARS THAT Mr John Selwyn Gummer, that bright, new, young Tory Party vice-chairman, recently meditated shaving off his trendy beard. But then he looked at the photographic reproduction of himself in the Times Guide to the House of Commons and decided that he would look too young without his fungus.

NONETHELESS, PUZZLE FEELS obliged to say that the said Gummer is a much better chap than appears on his hairy surface. In spite of an excessive tendency to indulge ideas of youthfulness, Gummer has greatly impressed Central Office mandarins by his grasp of specific issues, and his total disrespect both for authority and for received ideas in any kind of policy discussion. The difference between Gummer and most of the other likely candidates for youthful vice-chairmanship is that the lad is intelligent.

THERE IS A GOOD DEAL of perturbation on both sets of backbenches about the handing over of the chairmanship of the Governors of the BBC to Sir Michael Swann. This is betause a politician was not appointed to the job. And backbenchers have now begun to worry whether the Heath government will appoint any More of their number to run nationalised industries, state bodies etc. Puzzle can tell them to relax, Mr Ivor Richard is about to be offered a job. Whether he will accept it is, of course, another matter.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO . . . Jeffrey Archer, whose art gallery the Prime Minister once opened. Is he going to join the United Nations? . . Sir Frederick Corfield, sacked from Aviation Supply because he didn't think much of the Think Tank . . . Sir Bernard Braine, who once thought he would be Minister of Overseas Development, and who started the successful revolt on immigration regulations? . . Richard Wood, actually

Minister for Overseas Development . . Ernest Marples, who has been preserving his popularity with Labour and Tory members alike by serving some of that excellent white wine from his own Vineyard in his Westminster flat to folk bored by long sittings in the House . . . Mr Teddy Taylor, who is rumoured to be at Work on his second novel . . . watch this space for further news.

THE LAST NAMED Teddy Taylor was once visited in his constituency of Cathcart by Mr Enoch Powell. Asked what he would like to do with a Sunday afternoon Enoch said he would like to visit the local cemetery. Teddy took him along, and so absorbed did both men become that they were locked into the place by the inefficient attendant. While Teddy was suggesting breaking into the cemetery office in search of a 'phone, Enoch suggested climbing over the gates. The much younger Teddy was far behind in this competitive exercise when Enoch looked back at him from the top of the gate, grinned, and said, "Can you imagine the pleasure of the Press if they could Print a picture of this with the caption,

Enoch Powell climbing out of a graveyard ' " ?

Tom Puzzle