4 MARCH 1972, Page 25


The sbanning of inertia selling has forced cirne Phoney directory companies to close. the who lost his job was telling me : waY his organisation had made him envterate. Apparently a bogus directory w''i:rhY Was sent to a potential customer I the one or More deliberate mistakes in , Proof. For instance Bogarde Cook Ltd. 7ould k-be entered as Bogarde Cook & Co. Words Printed on the proof would be the 1 ace):.cls " Proof — for Correction and by`urn-" The corrections would be made a'n,a helPful soebody at Bogarde Cook Icam returne tnd to the offices of the directory nth ft 111PanY. They would do nothing for four °s, when a representative would call Skinflint's City Gallery on Bogarde Cook and ask for the executive who had made the correction. On being asked his business he would say ominously it was about an overdue account. After some bluster the customer would usually pay because of the of time that had elapsed.

Television licences

The appearance of BBC detector vans (prominently labelled in the manner of burglar alarm bells) are more effective than any electronic fix the GPO pretend they can get on unlicensed television sets.

But better still would be the lowering of the income tax threshold by the amount of the licence fee. There are few who are able to cross their hearts and say they never listen to the wireless or television. If nothing better, what about a printed box on the income tax return — Do you own a television or radio set? This should shake out recalcitrant licence dodgers, However, I fear pedestrian Chris Chataway has little imagination and less dynamism and will continue to fail to collect what's due by relying on expensive advertising and armies of GPO snoopers.

Leopold Joseph

That shrewd moneylender Gerald Caplan of London and County Securities didn't move up socially when he bought on the market his big block of shares in Leopold Joseph. Up to a couple of weeks ago he hadn't as much as met Prince Rupert von Loewenstein and Mr Jonathan Guinness the directors, who showed no particular eagerness to make his acquaintance. However, accompanied by Mr Jeremy Thorpe he managed to see the Leopold Joseph directors to say he'd decided to sell his block (at a profit of £2,000,000) and not persist with his unsuccessful attempt to get control through the market.

Slater Walker Dual Trust

I hate being ingenuous but will somebody explain to me why the income shares of the Slater Walker Dual Trust are selling at a premium of 108 and the capital shares at a big discount of 95. • It is said the issue went off all right and both types of stock were reported to be safely placed at arms length by the Slater Walker merchant banking section. Anyone who thought of taking these shares would, I should have thought, want the capital shares. Can anyone be supporting this stock? It is hard to think who is, if the original issue went all right and if Slater Walker are not selling their holding.

King Durlacher

Esmond (King) Durlacher was head of Wedd Durlacher, the biggest stock jobbers in the City. He retired years ago, but his friends were delighted when he received a knighthood in this year's New Year Honours. Apparently he has been doing rewarding work recently — taking the hat around in the City for the Conservatives.

The new Sir Esmond celebrated without unnecessary delay by getting the whole Durlacher tribe together at some restaurant like the L'Ecu de France. Some noticed that before the first course was cleared Sir Esmond was flicking his fingers to the wine waiter asking for "Champagne for her ladyship."

Appropriate, too, for a family of superior condition.

French P.M.

Jacques Chaban-Delmas, the French Prime Minister, is, I should have thought, being improperly pilloried in France for not paying income tax. Perfunctory reading of the reports of the case in the English papers seem to indicate that he did no more than make use of concessions that are generally available.

I was told darkly this week that Chaban-Delmas was not his name and that it is really Cohen. I had better admit that my informant was an Egyptian Copt.