6 AUGUST 1921, Page 2

It turns out that the. interview was not only a

Snark, but a Boojum. Everybody •who has had•anything to do with it has vanished. Lord Northcliffe on the evening of Friday, July 29th, cabled .to the King's private secretary that he had not given the interview, and then faded into the back- ground of the 'prairie. He was last paragraphed at Winnipeg. Mr. Wickham Steed, with whom the interview in the New York Times admittedly took place, was rather more specifically evasive. His manner of dealing with the mystery bore the charm of the old common law pleadings. In them you denied everything you could think of or dream of for fear you should be caught out in an implied admission. Our readers will remember the famous example in the defence to an action for the unlawful detention of a kettle. The defendant affirmed (1) that he had never seen the kettle; (2) that he had never bor- rowed the kettle; (3) that he returned the kettle; (4) that the kettle had a hole in it.