4 MARCH 1972, Page 7

— °rr idOrS _ for a.man who always had some affection

the Bow Street Runners I am deeply edneerned about the state of morale in the Special Branch — particularly those who „ ,°:"•ard government ministers. Last December, whilst several of the most light-footed linThs of the law were protecting the ciZelling of Lord Balneil, a common or ""rden burglar tiptoes into the house next Thc113'3" and made off with the family goods. ere have indeed been grim faces as the 'ads have gathered in the Red Lion. 1.,J'el° ',,w, ever, Tom Puzzle is not a destrucarId "aP and is firmly on the side of law order, He has a clue to the dazed vPriessions on the faces of the hapless siglantes. Last Wednesday evening two Covent Branch men stood in the foyer f L Garden paralysed with boredom as s,P,rd Carrington enjoyed a performance of ra-71 on Et oeeanegra. Those of their comca-eS Wha guard the PM have had a brisk ia-turse in culture at the Royal Opera of with evening5 spent in the company Flo '10Zart and Debussy which is not ladritis the PC's tipple. True some of the win ;aye the compensations of the odd atte.,,,-,,ta, sting with the Home Secretary and wh;i'Lmg those lively recreations, some of Mr Ripon lists in Who's Who : reke,ts, golf and walking.) And it is well Mr-rie(' that things could be worse if his , owell were persona grata because of Stiaterest in strolls through cemeteries. a"ue reasons why the Special Branch is thos pstaLte of gloom are the memories of Witso-hualeYon days when Mr Harold RuaroZwas at No 10 and of a night spent With-e,,'"g the PM When he was on the town 'bir ken Dodd. An eve . Nng spent with one of the most conngnished QCs at the English Bar tm barrist ed the view that most practising P skills ciefrs th have little regard for the forensic ose of ose of arliar„„ their profession who go to -ent• The single exception would seem to be Sir Geoffrey Howe who is something of a folk hero at the Bar. As for the Lords, my silky informant told me that a great surprise to all concerned was the emergence of Viscount Dilhorne as a splendid Lord of Appeal. This must give Viscount Dilhorne particular satisfaction since he was almost a cult figure for the young left wingers in the late 'fifties.

Who are Messrs Malfatti, Mansholt, Barre, Haferkamp, Coppe, Deniau, Spinelli, Borschette, Dahrendorf? They are the nine mmebers of the European Commission and if Mr Heath has his way they and their successors are going to be rather impor tant to us for the next century or two. A most useful little book has been produced by Harry Mitchell and Phyllis Birt, who work in the Commons, which gives the names and addresses of all the important people we ought to know in the Common Market, including the members of the European Parliament, the Court of Justice and so on. Hardly a comforting list of bureaucrats but obviously one that is handy to have around. It is obtainable at '75p from Mitchell and Birt, 2 Cornwall Mansions, Kensington Court, London, WS.