11 DECEMBER 1953

Page 1


The Spectator

The Scottish Conspiracy Trial SIR ROBERT WATSON-WATT : A Scientist's Choice M. H. MIDDLETON : Flemish Art D. W. BROGAN: The Splendid Century J. P. W. MALLALIEU: Varsity Rugger...

Page 3


The Spectator

No. 6 5 4 6 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1953 PRICE 7d.

The Scottish Conspiracy Trial

The Spectator

From time to time an incident occurs which suggests the extent to which England and Scotland are separate countries. The recent trial in Edinburgh, upon charges of conspiracy...


The Spectator

N OBODY has claimed, or is likely to claim, that the Bermuda meeting of the three Western Powers was a roaring success. Its flat final communiqué could be taken to convey...

Page 4

Wake Up Australia

The Spectator

What has happened to that most marked of Australian characteristics, objection to arrogance in high places ? Stories of corruption in Australian politics are common, and in the...

Wage Demands

The Spectator

The wage struggle sharpens. The disappointment of the railwaymen over the result of their 15 per cent. wage claim— the Railway Staff National Tribunal awarded them a 4s. per...

Ho Chi Minh Flies a Kite

The Spectator

If Ho Chi Minh, the rebel commander in Indo-China, were to repeat the offer to make peace, which last week he dropped so casually to the correspondent of a Swedish paper, the...

Ben Gurion

The Spectator

In 1797, George Washington retired to Mount Vernon, the first president of the United States. Until Mr. Ben Gurion resigned the prime, ministership of Israel last Sunday, George...

Page 5


The Spectator

p ARLIAMENT has had a domestic week for once, and seems quite to have enjoyed a glance at home affairs. Colonial controversies have of course kept breaking in, and next week...

Striking Oil

The Spectator

Australia, where an oil discovery has set off a gamblers' boom, is not a place where the geologists as a whole have ever expected to find really big oilfields. Petroleum is the...

The End of Scrutiny

The Spectator

The, premature decease of the Cambridge. review, Scrutiny, removes the most candid friend and critic of English literature. Founded in 1932, Scrutiny has consistently maintained...

Page 6


The Spectator

D EPENDENCIES of Britain that were quiet a year or two ago are now loud with discontent. A con- stitution has been suspended; a native ruler has been exiled; a tribal society...

Page 7

Mauvais Quart d'Heure ?

The Spectator

" Today it takes," the Dean of Worcester College had said in an unguarded moment, " three men to do what one man used to do-"; and he cited as an example of something beyond the...

For Verbiage-Fanciers

The Spectator

" Say what you will," remarked the cynic, " against the Bermuda communique; but from the fact that the word inebranlable' occurs nowhere in the French version of it I deduce...


The Spectator

I AM all for altruism, a virtue (or is it only a quality ?) of increasing rarity. But I cannot help wondering whether the members of the Everest Expedition are not being re-...


The Spectator

Though it savours of ideological cant, the dignity of labour is something (unlike parity of esteem) in which I am prepared to believe. But it is a nebulous and delicately poised...

A Private Affair

The Spectator

Mr. Pollen—unlike Henry Kingsley, who I rather think won the Diamond Sculls—is a dry-bob. He was allowed a racing start in his skiff; but, in addition to a strongish headwind,...

Striking Force

The Spectator

The easiest way to increase the exceptional difficulties con-. fronting the Territorial Army during 1954—to some of which a sensible speech by its Director, Major-General...

Page 8

President of the French Republic

The Spectator

By D. R. GILLIE Paris 0 N December 17th the members of both houses of the French parliament will, for the fourteenth time, gather at Versailles to elect a president of the...

Page 9

A Scientist's Choice

The Spectator

- Y SIR ROBERT WATSON-WATT The Spectator has asked a number of scientists the question 4 you were beginning your career now what branch of science or field of research would you...

Page 11

Two Jewish Burial Grounds

The Spectator

By JAMES POPE-HENNESSY . A LTHOUGH it is common knowledge that Stepney and Whitechapel are the chief Jewish centres in London, it is not perhaps always realised for just how...

Page 12


The Spectator

the Boy Friend. By Sandy Wilson. (Embassy.)—No Sign of the Dove. By Peter Ustinov. (Savoy.) WHAT were the Twenties really like ? Were they as gay and cynical as all that ? Were...


The Spectator

ART Flemish Art. (Burlington House.) To start with, it is playing-card country. Then, as the figures take on more substance, the glimpses of daily life become more real as...

Page 13

'SPECTATOR COMPETITION No. 200 Set by D. R. Peddy Competitors.

The Spectator

are asked to write a report on 1953 in the form and style of a company report for shareholders, a school report, the report of a Government Committee, a staff confidential...


The Spectator

The Kidnappers. (Gaumont.)—The Golden Coach. (Cameo-Poly.) CHILDREN in films are either, it seems, perfectly wonderful or perfectly dreadful. There is no such thing as a...

Psychiatrists and Others

The Spectator

SPECTATOR COMPETITION No. 197 Report by Guy Kendall Competitors were asked to define (each in four lines of verse) any two of the following: a snob, a psychiatrist, a virtuoso,...

Page 14

.Centers to the Editor

The Spectator

TELEVISION BY SUBSCRIPTION SJR, —The House of Commons have still to debate the Government's proposals on tele- vision. Before they do so, it would be well for them to recognise...

THE BIG TRUTH SIR,—Your leading article in your issue of

The Spectator

November 27th is an admirable exposition of the need for a closer understanding between the people of our country and those of the USA, " The Big Truth still stands. The United...

BY WANDLE BANKS SIR, -- 1I was interesting to read John Pope-

The Spectator

Hennessy's article on Wandsworth, one of the many former towns and villages Which have been swallowed by London but which still retain something of their own character and...


The Spectator

Sta.—Without rancour I must comment briefly on the letter in the Christmas number of the Spectator (November 20th) entitled. "The Kenya Home Guard." I have been a member of this...

Page 15

THOSE CHOUGHS SIR,—Though I make no claim to be either

The Spectator

a Shakespearian scholar or an ornithologist, may I suggest what seems to me to be a more convincing interpretation than that in Strix's delightful article ? Strix is " a...


The Spectator

for his explana- tion. " The Roman hierachy," he tells us, Means " the French Bishops." And he settles the black cap yet more firmly on his head as he sentences them for...

SIR, — M r . Gedge raises so many interesting points that one could

The Spectator

not answer them adequately without occupying more space than is available. If you could arrange for an article by some authority on the subject to be printed in the near future,...

Wintering Cattle

The Spectator

Winter puts a thicker coat on a horse, and any animals that stand out in the colder weather, such as the bullocks I looked at the other day, become as shaggy as buffaloes by the...

Rotting Apples Most people hasten to examine stored vegetables after

The Spectator

a heavy frost. We have had no frost to speak of yet, but the mild, humid atmosphere has brought my thoughts to the stored apples more than Once and only just in time at that. It...

Country Life

The Spectator

ANYONE who contemplates keeping chickens in our part of the world must take account of the fox, and ours is a hill fox, a creature that travels along ledges, runs under over-...

Field Glasses

The Spectator

To watch birds or study wild life at all one needs a pair of good field-glasses. Mine are old and rather battged but they are good. They belonged to a sea captain who has gone...

Page 16

1 11

The Spectator

Compton Mackenzie Quern Jupiter vult perdere prius dementat. W HOM Jupiter wishes to destroy he first drives mad. That sombre apophthegm kept tolling in my mind throughout the...

Page 18


The Spectator

Hard Play Hard Lines By J. P. W. MALLALIEU p ROBABLY the most remarkable opening to a big rugger match was in the Twenties. As I remember it, H. L. Price kicked off for England...

Page 19

Tbe spectator, 1BecenV:er 10th , 1553 Six seamen of the Russian

The Spectator

frigate Aurora, recently at Portsmouth, deserted. It is said they were seduced by Polish refugees, but there is no proof of anything of the kind. They had reached Guildford,...

Page 20

Five Types of Science Fiction

The Spectator

By TOM PULVERTAFT This article arrived at the Spectator office accompanied by. the following letter: Dear Sir, —I enclose an article for consideration for the Spectator, also...

Spectator Competition for Schools

The Spectator

The Spectator offers three prizes, each of books to the value of eight guineas, for articles to be written by boys and girls in schools In the United Kingdom. Entries should be...

Page 22


The Spectator

Le Grand Siecle By D. W. BROGAN T HERE are national heroes who can and do appeal to nations other than their own. There are at least as many Napoleon fans in England today as...

Page 23

The Poetic Quarry

The Spectator

To deal at all properly with either of these books would need an essay of Macaulayesque dimensions, and a year or so of cogitation. All that can be done here is to give some...

Page 24

Since Columbus

The Spectator

The Bombard Story. By Alain Bombard. (Andre Deutsch. 12s. 6d.) A HISTORY of the twentieth century written two hundred years hence would seem a discouraging project. Already we...

Family Histories

The Spectator

The Brudenells of Deene. By Joan Wake. (Cassell. 21s.) THE great country houses are suffering the fate which overtook the monasteries more than four centuries ago ; and their...

Page 26

Colonial Documents

The Spectator

British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834. By Vincent Harlow and Frederick Madden. (Oxford : Clarendon Press. 35s.) IT is now twenty-five years since the late Mr. K. N. Bell and...

My Mother's House

The Spectator

My Mother's House and Sido. By Colette. Translated by Enid McLeod and Una Troubridge. (Seeker and Warburg. 12s. 6d.) IT must be highly satisfactory to a writer to be awarded a...

Page 28

New Novels

The Spectator

NOVELS are rarely works of art but that does not mean they cannot be enjoyed in a mild way; it is no use asking for Tolstoi every week. Which brings us to this week's novels....

Bitter and Earnest

The Spectator

Political Thought in England (Tyndale to Hooker). By Christopher Morris. (Oxford. 6s.) " Brrrsa and earnest writing," said Bacon, " must not hastily be condemned ; for men...

Page 29

Shorter Notices

The Spectator

The Ancient Capital. A Historian in Search of Winchester. By Hugh Ross Williamson. (Muller. 15s:) " EMINENT alike as historian and dramatist, novelist and theologian," says the...

Merseyside—A Scientific Survey. Edited by Wilfred Smith, M.A., F. J.

The Spectator

Monkhouse, M.A. and H. R. Wilkinson, M.A. (Pub- lished for the British Association by the University Press of Liverpool. 21s.) THE most permanent memorial of a visit by the...

THERE is something at once immediate and elusive in our

The Spectator

personal reactions to music and .painting, which has little to do with formal aesthetic valuation, although that may be invoked later to justify our prejudices. Mr. Ehrenzweig...

Page 30


The Spectator

By NICHOLAS DAVENPORT THE battle for the Savoy which began in the stock markets looks like ending in the Courts. To prevent Mr. Harold Samuel rebuilding the Berkeley Hotel as...

Company Notes

The Spectator

By CUSTOS SELECTIVITY is now the keynote in the industrial share markets. Dark horses are slipping back in the market race and the well-known stayers are coming to the front....

Page 31


The Spectator

[A nook Token for one guinea will be awarded to the sender of the first correct solution opened alter noon on Tuesday week, December, 22nd, addressed Crossword, 99 Gower...

Solution to rossword No. 758

The Spectator

liturranian M 121 TI DIMI111 l',21!1151C113 111 tel r21 13 DI rl tI 01 7fit21 CI El 151 ILInrii itZERWACICCII21 KII 13 0 I:3 ©r15 3 imnorri 9 FJPII3C1 n. r2 171 El 1....