13 DECEMBER 1957

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The Spectator



The Spectator

T HE news that President Eisenhower is, after all, to attend the NATO meeting in Paris provides some hope that the threatened paralysis of the alliance may be averted. However,...

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The Spectator

T HE latest of the admirable pamphlets issued by the Bow Group of the Young Tory eggheads is devoted to the public schools.* The author finds that the public schools are not the...


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A YEAR ago confusion and faction prevailed A in the Communist world. What has hap- pened since then that we are now faced, at least to all appearances, by a Soviet Union...

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Busmen's Holiday?

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T HE decision of the London busmen to reject their union executive's advice, and to turn down the proposal that their case should be sub- mitted to arbitration, was expected. It...

The Conscience of a Socialist

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By DARSIE GILLIE . Paris IT sometimes happens in history that world events turn upon the internal affairs of a minor princi- pality or a small republic per- haps no larger...

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Westminster Commentary

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SOME people are born unlucky. Among them—high among them —I would place the man who wrote last Friday in Liberal News (I have just noticed that this jour- nal calls itself 'The...

Portrait of the Week

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MUCH of the week's news has been sucked into the orbit of the fast-approaching meeting of NATO heads of governments in Paris. President Eisenhower's doctors have declared him...

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MR. JOHN GORDON'S familiar brand of hysteria was, I felt,

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overdone last Sunday. Mr. P. G. Wodehouse, it appears, had made a witty remark about the Daily Express, and wit being anathema to Mr. Gordon, he took exception to it. So he...

ON SATURDAY MORNING, -for example, the local press reported that

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the UN debate on Cyprus might begin that day. At once the bells were rung, and the schoolchildren flocked to their churches. They were met by Turkish auxiliaries; and as the...

THE DIVORCE CONTROVERSY may or may not be illuminated by

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an item in the excellent exhibition of books and manuscripts from the Old Royal Library got up for the bicentenary of the gift of the collection to the British Museum by George...

I SEE THAT TAPER discusses the Prime Minister's broadcast at

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length. What surprised me about it was not the banality of phrase but what he was trying to say. Whoever put it into Mr. Macmillan's head that it was the Prime Minister's job to...

A Spectator's Notebook

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I HAVE EVERY SYMPATHY With what the new Governor of Cyprus is try- ing to achieve out there; but is he going the right way about it? In theory a tour through the island, to show...

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'SEVEN BRAVE MEN' the Evening News called the members of

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the Electrical Trades Union who appeared on Panorama the other evening : 'They have defied the grim little Communist oligarchy which controls their Union.' And the next day Mr....

WHEN DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR took me to task a few

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weeks ago for suggesting that his films were not British, I did not immediately reply; my viewing is sporadic, and I felt that I might have judged them from too small a sample....

What Would Grandmama Have Thought?

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By ROBERT BLAKE " TODAY twenty-three years ago dear Grand- ." mama died. I wonder what she would have thought of a Labour Government !' Thus King George V wrote in his diary on...

IF MR. FAIRBANKS can sell this sort of thing for

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dollars, more power to him. My concern is merely that the label 'British' should not be put by others to misleading use. For example : this week, repeats of no fewer than five...

r AM GLAD to hear that the centenary of Conrad's

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birth, about which I wrote a week or two ago, is not passing uncommemorated by the British authorities. An exhibition of books and photo- graphs has been sent out to Poland,...

FROM THE Daily Sketch:

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The Tories have kept their seat in the Garston division of Liverpool—but their majority has been slashed by 7,665. . . . The new MP is a 42-year-old barrister. He said 'This...

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'This Happy Breed'

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By HENRY KERBY, MP OCIOLOGISTS will derive little comfort from a the latest Blue Book on Criminal Statistics , England and Wales, 1956, for if the majority of wage-earners have...

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Resistance in Rumania

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By ANTHONY RHODES R ELIGIOUS persecution has, surprisingly, not _ been common in the troubled history of Rumania. The people have always been deeply religiou s , but they have...

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By STRIX H omo Sapiens was a hunter before he was a fighter. In both capacities his need for weapons has been constant, and in the latter it has increased. His preference has...

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But a Good Cigar is a Smoke

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By CYRIL RAY O NE of the best-documented footnotes to world history is the aside made during a long-ago debate in the United States Senate that what this country really needs...

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City and Suburban

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B y JOHN BETJEMAN A s the train draws in to Liverpool Street and before it sinks into the cutting look to your right. Rising above the chimney-pots is the most extravagant and...


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DECEMBER 15, 1832 SPURZHEIM is dead : his own skull will now stand on his own table. He will lecture no longer, but be lectured over; and his successor will be able to point...

Consuming Interest

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By LESLIE ADRIAN OR the record, here is Mr. J. P. Lissimore, r a director of a company manufacturing soft drinks, with some facts about the soda and tonic water retail trade :...

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99 Gower Street, London, W.C.1

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Euston 3221

Letters to the Editor

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Kidnapping Blake Kathleen Raine, Indonesia George Edinger Professor William Empson, Sir Geoffrey Keynes The Politics of Envy T. W. Gadd Behind the Times David Astor . An...

SIR,—In his review of the Blake bicentenary volume (Spectator, December

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6) Mr. W. W. Robson men- tions the new Nonesuch Complete Writings of Blake only to suggest that I have made a mistake about the date of the early draft of the 'Laughing Song,'...


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SIR,—I am happy to find that my article has angered a reviewer whose picture of the real Blake is reached by declaring the great bulk of his work valueless and unreadable. He...


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Sut,—I disagree with the main contention of Charles Curran's article 'The Politics of Envy' that lower- grade workers are wanting to move back to a non- differentiation in rates...

share some of the uneasiness of Mr. W. W. Robson

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about Miss Kathleen Raine's work on Blake; she seems to make him such an orthodox mystic, as early as the Songs, or even such a literal copyist of previous mystics. But his...

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Sta,—Mr. Liddell Hart seems anxious to prove that my father's decisions to continue the battle of Passchendaele were not due, among other reasons, to the low state of French...


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SIR, —Your eager-beaver readers are so determined to establish that Right-wingers are upright, down- right, forthright Puritans and Left-wingers the oppo- site, and vice versa....


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SIR,—In your Christmas number there was a most amusing review by Mr. Bernard Levin of Talking of Books, by Oliver Edwards. The humour included a personal battering of Sir...

SIR, — Mr. Magee made his point clearly, and, with respect, I

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did not miss it. Granted the obvious fact that neither political party can claim a superior moral standing, then, in my submission, the most piobable answer to Mr. Magee's...

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SIR,—I do not like 'Britishers' any better than Mr. Clarke,

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but the trouble is that 'Britons,' though technically correct, is rather apt to conjure up visions of large woad-clad gentlemen whirling about in chariots.—Yours faithfully,...

SIR,—Pharos's rudeness is immaterial; but his at- tempt to misrepresent

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to your readers the purport of my letter in last week's Spectator seems matter enough to warrant my asking the kindness of a little more space to make clear what your com-...

SAFETY HELMETS Sat,—Surely on this occasion Dr. Ritchie Russell's challenge

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and offer cannot go unheeded. He has for many years given convincing evidence that helmets for motor-cyclists are essential, and should be made compulsory. Personally, I prefer...


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Sut,—In his article 'Landscape Lost,' in the Spectator of November 22, Mr. H. E. Bates relates how 'in one of the few remaining copses the local rural district council engages...

TINKERING WITH HISTORY Sig,—The public relies on its historians for

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faithful reports on the documents they scrutinise. Mr. Barraclough's review (rather accurately entitled 'Tinkering with History') of Professor . Popper's Poverty of HiStoricism...

DIVORCE AND AFTER Sta,—The Rev. Peter Wyld might find Dr.

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Mandell Creighton less 'muddled' if he quoted him accurately. 'Desertion' for 'discretion' does slightly alter his meaning, I think ! I would make the point that seeking a...

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Tathing the Shrew

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The Pajama Game. (Warner.)— Girl in a Bikini. (Cinephone.) — The Market in Women. (Cameo- Royal.) — The Captive Cinema. (National Film Theatre.) THE battle between the sexes in...

Contemporary Arts

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Disenchantment The Tempest. By William Shake- speare. (Drury Lane.) — The Tunnel of Love. By Joseph Fields and Peter de Vries. (Her Majesty's.)—Paddle Your Own Canoe. By Max...

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Addiction or Obsession?

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IT is just five years since the man in the next flat told me that he was moving to Italy and I could have his television set, aerial and all, if I would take over the...

Satch Haloed

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Tuts month's circumbendibus of records includes a dixieland jam session, selections from movie sound tracks, cha-cha-cha, a Fats, a Como, a Crosby, a Satchmo and (could we do...

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The Spectator

And Even Now BY BERNARD LEVIN I BELONG,' said Max Beerbohm, `to the Beardsley period.' But he said it in 1895, the year in Which Wilde was prosecuted and the Nineties, though...

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The Biggest Paradox of All

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The Rise Of Modern Asia. By Ian Thomson. (John Murray, 18s.) Soviet Russia in China: A Summing Up at Seventy. By Chiang Kai-shek. (Harrap, 30s.) THE pattern of the great...

Style and Rapt Fuzz

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Conrad: Sea Stories (Typhoon, Youth, The Nigger of the Narcissus, The Secret Sharer). (Hart-Davis, 12s. 6d.) Joseph Conrad and His Characters. By Richard Curie. (Heinemann,...

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True Revolutionary Seven Years Solitary. By Edith Bone. (Hamish Hamilton,

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18s.) WHAT must chiefly strike those of us who were still paying into the Daily Worker Fund in 1949 is that at that time Edith Bone, their corre- spondent in Budapest, was...

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Too Far Away From It All

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Journey to Java. By Harold Nicolson. (Constable, 21s.) The Sheltering Desert. By Henno Martin. (William Kimber, 25s.) . Beyond the Pillars of Hercules: A Spanish Journey. By...

RECENT books on mountaineering: A Century of Mountaineering 1857-1957, by

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Arnold Lunn (Allen and Unwin, 30,t); The First Ascent of Mont Blanc, by T. Graham Brown and Sir Gavin de Beer (O.U.P., 700; Mountaineering in Britain, a History, by Ronald W....

The Dickens Monument

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Georgina. Hogarth and the Dickens Circle. By Arthur A. Adrian. (0.U:P., 30s.) DICKENS soon grew to hate his wife, but there was no legal separation till 1858, by which time her...

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New Novels

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Voss. By Patrick White. (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 16s.) AFTER gazing at Sidney Nolan's magnificent wrapper for Patrick White's novel Voss, and reading in the blurb that the story...

Not so Sparkling

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The Diamond Smugglers. By Ian Fleming. (Cape, 12s. 6d.) THE substance of Mr. Fleming's book is a series of reminiscences by a pseudonymous 'John Blaize,' describing his...

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Apostles of Violence. By Douglas Perring. (Hale, 10s. 6d.) Behind

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the lurid and ill-drawn wrapper is a well-written, well-imagined, though slightly over-plotted novel of adventure in the Northern Italy of the Allied occupation, when partisan...

It's a Crime

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Underdog. By W. R. Burnett. (Macdonald, 10s. 6d.) The cartographer of the asphalt jungle maps out another of the big-city landscapes in which ward bosses with luscious wives run...

Cold Steel. By James Warren. (Collins, 10s. 6d.) Very good,

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briskly written, mystery-cum-thriller which begins with a drunken husband's insuper- able, and very violent, objections to his pretty wife's going on the stage, and takes in...

The House of Crystal. By Hans Kades. (Angus and Robertson,

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13s. 6d.) Over-long, over-popu- lated ponderosity translated from the German about a suicide that was possibly a murder in a scientific stronghold high in the Austrian Alps. A...

She Died Because . . . By Kenneth Hopkins. (Macdonald,

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10s. 6d.) Relentlessly funny caper, with a brace of comic-strip absent-minded profes- sors peering over their spectacles at the clues the cops had missed, and having their...

Maigret's Little Joke. By Simenon. (Hamish Hamilton, I Is. 6d.)

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Slender little piece, in which Chief-Inspector Maigret, on leave, idling in the cafés of Paris, helps to solve a murder mystery by reading the local newspapers and sending...

Shadow of a Lady. By Holly Roth. (Hamish Hamilton, 12s.

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6d.) A red-haired young woman disappears in France; a red-haired young woman's corpse turns up in a trunk in Norfolk; and a lively young American woman's priggish English lover...

Dead and Not Buried, By H. F. M. Prescott. (Eyre

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and Spottiswoode, 12s. 6d.) A whiff from Cold Comfort Farm blows through this one crime story committed by a distinguished historical novelist twenty years ago, and now...

In the Queen's Parlour. By Ellery Queen. (Gol- lancz, I5s.)

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Fifty fragments of the flimsiest sort of journalism, most of them very passé, spread very thinly over 180 pages, including such essays as one on how many fictional detectives...

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Sublime Truth

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The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. By Etienne Gilson. Translated by L. K. Shook. (Gollancz, 42s.) NOBODY has done more than Professor Gilson to put St. Thomas...

St. Paul's in its Glory

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Tuts volume covers a wider ground than any of the previous studies of St. Paul's; it tells the . story of the cathedral from 604 to the present day. The editors have collected...

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No. 131. K. A. K. LARSEN (Hon. Men., Problemnoter, 1956) Will 1 F. (5 men) wiirrE to play and compel Black to mate in two moves: solution next week, In problems of this type...


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Woodcock are elusive birds in more ways than one. The shooter finds them elusive in flight, but if he is uncommonly wise he may time his shooting by recit- ing a rhyme to enable...


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It may be labouring the point to remind anyone with one or two fruit trees that not only should they be pruned but that tar-oil wash is needed to protect plums, currants, pears,...

Country Life

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By IAN NIALL a rule people who live within sight of mountains I i ) ;IY little attention to them, and although I am often i 1 the hills in the warmer months of the year when g°...

. Bob's dogs have to be rough and tough, for

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he is that sort of a man. His affection for them is rough, He expects them to go where he will go, show cour- age, spirit, affection, and, in return, he is prepared to get wet...

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At the Summit

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Competitors were invited to produce (in 150 words) the preamble to the communiqué that will be issued at the end of the Heads-of-State NATO meeting which begins in Paris on...


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ACROSS 1 Censure for one who renovates mackintoshes (8). 5 Idiotic appearance of love with a water-dweller 9 Its 6). cleat at the Customs (8). 10 Little old horse that might...

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By CUSTOS ACTIVITY in Throgmorton Street has been centred on the Wednesday issue of £41 million of BRITISH PETROLEUM 6 per cent, convertible stock at 99, which is believed to...


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By NICHOLAS DAVENPORT T1-he financial world, my postbag tells me, remains a sort of thriller- ;, mystery which fascinates everyone, , especially those without a penny to i...

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Speaking from the Cha SIR FREDERIC HOOPER Chairman, Regular Forces Resettlement Advisory Board D URING the next five years some 7,00 0 officers are to be prematurely retired...