11 APRIL 1969

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The meaning of responsible government

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is, as we have had occasion to lament be- fore, difficult enough to determine whether o r not this country possesses a constitution at all in any meaningful sense, let alone...

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A happy ending for Snake Island?

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It could be argued that Lord Caradon is doing more useful work on his repeated visits to Anguilla than he has the oppor- tunity of doing at the United Nations. Nevertheless, the...

PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK Under heavy Russian pressure the Czech

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government reimposed rigorous newspaper censorship, threatening to expel recalcitrant journalists from the party. The chief govern- ment censor resigned and was succeeded by a...

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Basildon bores

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CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS Mr Stanley Balls, Liberal candidate in the Basildon local council elections, alleges that the citizens of Basildon swop their wives for lack of entertainment...

Jones the philosopher-king

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POLITICAL COMMENTARY AUBERON WAUGH The last day before parliament broke up for its Easter holiday was marked by one of those debates which remind one irresistibly of the public...

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No middle way

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CANADA MORAG ALEXANDER Ontario—Mr Trudeau's decision not to pull Canada out of NATO, but merely to bring some Canadian troops home from Europe instead, is another sign that his...

The mantle of Ike

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AMERICA MURRAY KEMPTON New York—Mr Nixon's first Hundred Days have gone by as a history not of events but of the calendar. But then his life, until it turned, was one...

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Too much politics, not enough sex

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GERMANY NIGEL LAWSON Those who complain about the lack of any 'great divide' between Conservative and Labour in England, ought to take a look at Germany, where the ideological...

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No liberal hour

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EDUCATION A. E. DYSON The Minister of Education, Mr Edward Short. this week attacked the recently-published pamphlet 'Fight for Education' (discussed here last month). In this...

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J. W. M. THOMPSON If it hadn't been for Mr Edward Short's ringing words this week few people would have guessed that the education system was on the brink of collapse. Most...

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In defence of diplomacy

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PERSONAL COLUMN .J. H. PLUMB Mobs of blood-hungry students surge through embassy gardens, tear down flags, break win- dows, push into the embassy itself and insult the...

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Anxious living

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MEDICINE JOHN ROWAN WILSON There are two classes of people I have always thought there was something odd about: body- conscious men and mother-fixated women. This is just an...

Flat judgments

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RACING CAPTAIN THREADNEEDLE Useless: of little account: poor handicapper nowadays: cost 9,000 gns as a yearling, moder- ate form in four races: tailed off twice and refused to...

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Mixture as before

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THE PRESS BILL GRUNDY It's an odd thing, but though there's only one Easter day without papers, there seem to be three days without news. I don't know why this should be,...

World apart

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TELEVISION STUART HOOD I have a nightmare vision on any fine weekend of the day—it will ineluctably arrive—when the portable television set will be as common as the transistor...

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Song of the south

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TABLE TALK DENIS BROGAN It had been a bleak winter and a bleaker spring in England, and I was not willing to wait for any Chaucerian spring. I had hoped for daffodils That come...

A hundred years ago

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From the 'Spectator,' 10 April 1869—Mr. Lowe in- troduced his very original and clever,—perhaps somewhat too clever,—Budget on Thursday night, in a speech which it was much...

Double take

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CONSUMING INTEREST LESLIE ADRIAN A young chum of mine once borrowed from an old chum of his a Mini, which (to the sur- prise of its optimistic fuel gauge) ran out of petrol in...

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Chess no. 434

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PHILIDOR Black White 3 men 9 men W. A. Shinkman (Gazerta del Popoff,. 1885). White to play and mate in two moves; solution next week. Solution to no. 433 (Havel): Kt - K...

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Notes for a revolutionary handbook BOOKS

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JO GRIMOND, MP `For old unhappy far-off things and battles long ago.' Remote, indeed, are most of the events described in this book—The Revolution- ary Movement in Britain...

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Over-exposed MAURICE CAPITANCHIK Why Are We in Vietnam? Norman Mailer (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 30s) Behold the Man Michael Moorcock (Allison and Busby 21s) Love to Vietnam...

Before the flood

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JOHN ROBERTS The . Habsburg Empire 1790-1918 C. A. Macartney (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 126s) The Last Habsburg Gordon Brook-Shepherd (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 63s) On 10 November...

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Great hog butcher

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H. G. PITT Prairie State : Impressions of Illinois 1673- 1967 by Travelers and other Observers edited by Paul M. Angle (University of Chicago Press 112s 6d) The state of...

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European Architecture in India 1750-1850 Sten Nilsson (Faber 147s)

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Vitruvius Indicus FRANCIS WATSON European Architecture in India 1750-1850 Sten Nilsson (Faber 147s) Golden Goa we know, and Pondicherry we know, if only for the brief but...

The Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. ; pot (Faber

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45s) Vrai naif :MARTIN SEYMOUR-SMITH Besides collecting all Eliot's poems from 190 to 1962, this volume also . includes ,0,41 Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the five plays...

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Balancing act

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GEORGE E. CHRIST Churchill: Four Faces and the Man A. J. P. Taylor, Robert Rhodes James, J. H. Plumb, Basil Liddell Hart and Anthony Storr (Allen Lane 30s) • Four historians...

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Stranger things at Stratford ARTS

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HILARY SPURLING Never was a guide more affable, spryer or more stoutly British than the poet, ancient Gower, stumping forward with one skinny finger raised at Stratford, to...

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Tall stories PENELOPE HOUSTON The Immortal Story (Academy Two, 'X') Simon of the Desert (Academy Two, 'X') Crooks and Coronets (Warner, `U') Even the Academy looks like having...

Revenge tragedy

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OPERA JOHN HIGGINS The hero of the current Covent Garden revival of Don Giovanni is Ottavio. Anna's pallid consort, entrusted with little but two beautiful arias—or only one,...

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Al fresco

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ART PAUL GRINKE Two hundred years ago a Bolognese aca- demician called Giampetro Zanotti recorded the following heartfelt message about a recent discovery : 'If this beautiful...

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ff olk es's tycoons-14

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Straws in the budget wind

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MONEY NICHOLAS DAVENPORT It ought to be a jolly budget but I am afraid it may be another kill-joy. With the enormous surplus the Chancellor has gathered in there ought to be...

Market report CUSTOS

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Sir Peter Allen, chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries, really set the tone of the equity market at the company's annual meeting when he indicated that to sales should...

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Down Burmah way

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PORTFOLIO - JOHN BULL Is there a case for buying Burmah Oil to stand alongside my second portfolio holding of British Petroleum? I notice that some of the most...

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Sir : Sincere congratulations on your excellent leader on Biafra

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(14 March). In a brilliantly sustained argument you exposed the in- consistencies, cant and unbelievable com- placency of the British government's position on the civil war....

Remember Suez

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Sir: There has been a good deal of criticism of our Government about its nominees to attend the funeral of General Eisenhower. That this should be just another example of the...

Is God a Tory ?

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Sir: One judges from his last sentence that Mr Cosgrave (4 April) is writing of England. Does the following invalidate what he is saying as far as another part of Great Britain...

The rules of the game

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Sir: el hesitate to cross swords with Tibor Smuely (28 March), whom I regard as the shrewdest of all the commentators on the com- munist world, but I think he is wrong in adopt-...

Sir: Could I reply to Dr Dudley's objection (Letters, 4

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April) to my piece on Biafra? Dr Dudley quotes Dr Nmamdi Azikiwe's statement that casualties in actual fighting were larger on the 'Nigerian' side than on the 'Biafran' side....

When is a nation not a nation ?

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LETTERS From Robin Horton, Sir Denis Brogan, Hugh Anderson. M. Aril, Neil Usher. L. E. Weid- berg, G. E. Assinder, Colin Quayle, Rupert Jackson, George Chowdharay-Best, John...

Stormy exit

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Sir: Mr Nasim Ahmed's analysis of the situa- tion in Pakistan (28 March) missed the most important point—the basic nature of military dictatorship is that it tries to perpetuate...

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Dog days

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Sir : J. W. M. Thompson (`Spectator's note- book,' 4 April) asks for the origin of 'black dog' as another name for depression. Milton ('L'Allegro') derives 'melancholy' from...

Unfair to Lowndes Square

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Sir: At least the graceful Georgian premises of the Pakistani High Commission in Lowndes Square, however neglected (`Spec- tator's Notebook,' 28 March), are still there. The...

Face to face with the System

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Sir: Mr Llewellyn Smith's account (28 March) of his experiences in sending two trunks from Athens to London reminds me of my own ex- periences of the Turkish bureaucracy last...

Le Roy s'amuse

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AFTERTHOUGHT JOHN WELLS Of the many volumes of political "reminiscence promised us by the present Cabinet, none is more eagerly awaited than that of Mr- Roy Jenkins. Urbane,...

Sweet girl graduates

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Sir: Mr Bown (Letters, 4 April) regards the prospect of Cambridge colleges becoming co- educational with eloquent and righteous indig- nation: 'serious issues of educational...

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No. 546: The winners

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Trevor Grove reports: 'Famous last words' are attributed to many historical figures—e.g. 'I shall hear in Heaven' (Beethoven), 'It has all been very interesting' (Lady Mary...

No. 548: State selection

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COMPETITION As from Sunday, all Greek newspapers have been ordered to devote one page of their week- end editions to the reprinting, over the next two and a half years, of a...

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Crossword no.1373

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Solution next week Across Insolent. like the band? (6) 4 ThoSe British islands set in the silver sea? ( 8 ) 9 The sedentary poser (6) 10 Invariable man-getters (8) 12 Without...