5 APRIL 1963, Page 15

Conservative Crisis Adrian Fitzgerald

Royal Academy 'Dilemma' Humphrey Brooke, John Bratby, ARA

Enemies of Progress Herbert Broadley Elektra Leo Kersley Religious Broadcasting Alan Gibson Lawrence and the Critics George Wightman Roxburgh of Stowe P. G. Hunter


Angus Maude was reported at the last Conservative Party Conference as saying that Con- servatism was 'not about principles but about People.' This now seems to depend largely on what Principles and which people. Only last week Mr. IC A. Butler announced, in the African context, that 'You cannot keep in an association against their Will anybody who does not wish to be so kept.' Courage of conviction proved strong enough to Put this 'principle' into effect with regard to Northern R, hodesia and Nyasaland, but it proved too weak I° govern the framing of the Kenya Constitution or the imposed solution in the Congo. Now Mr. Maude assumes the role of apologist for Conservative unpopularity. He defends the Government on the grounds of administrative com- Petence—the like of which we have not seen since 1906! But what value is one entitled to attach to intellectual ability where intellectual integrity is in short supply? A fair synthesis of Mr. Maude's Whole argument in 'The Ringing Grooves of Change,

would appear to be: The Government must institute a programme of change for change's sake in order to win the next election.'

would submit that rank-and-file Conservatives are finding it harder and harder to anticipate changes 1.11 government policy in any sphere—unless there IS discernible a trend of 'refusing everything to °PPosition, yielding everything to agitation.' Short of an immediate re-statement of Conservative prin- ciples, policies and aims it is impossible to envisage the recapture of• the electorate's confidence or in Other words anything but unmitigated disaster at the next general election.

ADRIAN FITZGERALD The Monday Club, London SW3