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That task is to propose solid measures for the defence of Western Europe, while at the same time reassuring France against the fear of German militarism, securing for Germany...


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From Far Cathay

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It seems that the Labour delegation was in no very good humour when it arrived back from China at London Airport on Tuesday, minus Mr. Attlee, who was still in New Zealand. The...

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Israel and the Arab League

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Tension continues to grow along Israel's frontiers. Few weeks pass without providing one or two ugly incidents to remind the world that there is still no peace, or prospect of...

Warning Light for Farnborough

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Oliver Stewart writes: Security and timidity were the leading actors in this year's Society of British Aircraft Constructors' Display at Farn- borough. Security was invoked to...

The Montesi Affair

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Jt is now almost a year and a half since the death of Wilma Montesi, and the opening of a scandal which spread from whispers about drugs and orgiastic parties, to allegations of...

Mr. Morrison on CD

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The original gesture of the socialist-controlled city council of Coventry in abdicating its responsibility for local civil defence made some sort of sense only if viewed against...

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The Spectator

e- se T HE reasons for not expecting a major war in the near future are familiar. Neither major group of world powers wants it, neither is ready for it, neither has been driven...

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In Loco Parentis If I told my children not to

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lie on the floor resting their chins on their hands while watching television, because if they did it would be liable to make their faces misshapen, I would not expect them to...

Bisect and Rule ?

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We blame ourselves in retrospect,' said the distinguished diplomat wearily, for creating too many new nations after the First War. It certainly led to a great deal of trouble,...

Promotion In last week's issue of the Bookseller Henry Puffmorc

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(ono of the Worcestershire Puffmores I imagine) wrote: Edward Crankshaw's excursion into noveldont with The Creedy Case (Michael Joseph) has drawn a fair measure of...


The Spectator

B Y the time these words appear in print we shall probably know whether Mr. Eden has had what is known in show-jumping circles as a clear round; but even if the French prove...

Fourteen Years Ago

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I was prompted by the imminence of the RAF fly-past over London to look at A Spectator's Notebook ' of fourteen years ago. In the Spectator of September 13, 1940, Janus...

A Bastion of Nothing

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The distance between Formosa and the Philippines is about one hundred miles less than the distance between the Philippines and the nearest part of the Communist-held China...

Polls Apart

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The News Chronicle Gallup Poll showed that the Socialists had a six per cent. lead over the Conservatives in the affections of the country; the Daily Express Poll of Public...

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The Teaching of History in a Shrinking World

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fly ARNOLD TOYNBEE I N our day, man's technology is keeping its maker on the run. Our technological feat of ' annihilating distance ' is having the same effect as a rapidly...

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The Last Twenty Days By ALAN BULLOCK I N the middle

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of August, 1939, an ominous calm had settled over the diplomatic scene. The key to the situa- tion lay in Hitler's proposal of an agreement between Germany and Soviet Russia...

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Hemlock—and Before

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By ALAN JENKINS W HEN the time comes to publish a definitive edition of the works of Mr. Angus Wilson, with a critical foreword by—let us suppose—Dame Marghanita Laski, I hope...

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The Purple Plain. (Leicester Square.)— Ripening Seed. (Rialto.)—Suddenly. (London Pavilion.) H. E. BATES'S novel, The Purple Plain, has been adapted for the screen by Eric...


The Spectator

THEATRE ne commis pas de sentiment plus mbar- rassant que !'admiration. Par la difficulte de s'exprimer convenablement elle resemble l'amour.' Thus Baudelaire, who for his...

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THE primitive arts of the savage, of the child, of the madman, of the 'Sunday Painter' and popular (or folk) traditions are related to a degree which sometimes makes them in-...


The Spectator

TALK, talk, talk, does nothing ever happen here but talk?—Thus, or in words to this effect, the German engineer in Denis John- ston's The Moon and the Yellow River. Precisely....

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Pathetic Fallacy And where you walked, the sullen cloud-shelf stooped Down to the water-meadows by your side. Precarious water delicately roped Lay at your feet and wreathed...

The Trick

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His photograph had been in all the papers, That sensual sharper with his common trick; And the resemblance did not escape us— The dreamy eyes, the fingers on the pack, The ready...

Errors of Observation

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The idea is exciting, surely, But are your intentions really very pure? We've watched you with your little opera glasses Lying for hours in the stalky grass, And, to be honest,...

The Games

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'We were to sit together at the games, But then he said his parents would come too— Old courtiers, rigged in their amethyst and gold! Why, they will wreck our fun. Not that one...

What We Most Need to Say

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What we most need to say eludes the voice, Like those deep fish that sea explorers glimpse Gaping dumb mouths, ridiculous as shrimps. And when our pen, unreeling its thin line,...

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SIR,—Mr. David Pumfrett's letter puts the issue in its right

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perspective. A few years before the war the Reverend ' Tubby' Clay- ton had a notice outside All Hallows-Barking- by-the-Tower. It said: It matters not whether you are High...

SIR,—I wonder whether you will allow me to place a

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postscript to this correspondence ? It cannot be more than that, since your original contributor, Mr. James, and now Mr. Pumfrett are so wrong in their whole approach to the...


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Mr. David Pumfrett, written in a somewhat pedagogic and would- be mediatorial strain, in its meanderings does not deal with the point at issue. No doubt the defence put up by...

THE FILM FRACAS AGAIN SIR,—Mr. Nicholas Davenport is scarcely being

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fair to the British Film Industry when he attacks it, inter alia, for denying the pub- lic any reduction in the price of seats in spite of the recent reduction in...

Letters to the Editor

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SOVIET NAVAL EXPANSION SIR,-1 was most interested to read Com- mander Courtney's lucid article on Soviet paval expansion. He very carefully weighs in the balance the power of...

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HEADS THEY WIN SIR,—As an extremely hard-pressed English author, may

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I point out what a friend in Melbourne, Australia, has just represented to me as a scandalous ramp in'the bookshops in Melbourne, and in other Australian cities ? A recent book...

SHOULD CHURCHES BE SAVED ? SIR,—The Archdeacon of Leeds believes

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in selling little-used churches, even if they are of architectural interest, in order to build new ones elsewhere. Our ancestors did better than this: if they wanted a new...

EXPENSES AND EXTRAVAGANCE SIR,—It is a disappointment that so distin-

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guished a contributor as John Betjcman should stoop to the cheap journalistic level regarding expense account society. There arc black sheep in all communities, and on this...

THE COCKNEY RENAISSANCE SIR,—Thc new poets from Scotland will, per-

The Spectator

haps, be pleased to know that my firm has taken more than a casual interest in your description and illustration of their work. We have read some specimens and we find that the...

HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT SIR,—ln his review of Histoire du Soldat

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in Edinburgh, Mr. A. V. Coton refers to it as ' the first professional showing in Great Britain.' There was a production of this work at the A.D.C. Theatre, Cambridge, in the...


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SIR,— The revolting story culled by Mr. John Betjcman from a children's book of strip cartoons, and outlined by him in the ' Spectator's Notebook ' of September 3. has also been...


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SIR,- I bought number twelve of John O'London's Weekly when I was in my teens. Since then I have not missed a number. It became part of my life, and the men who wrote it became...

NO CHINESE CANCER SIR,—.11 am a regular reader of your

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high class magazine as also of your other journal New Statesman. Though I have not before entered y our print I am moved to do so after reading your many clever and interesting...

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Country Life

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TURNING off the main highway we ran along a rough road that passed through unfenced scrubby ground. I could see a pair of rabbits ahead, sitting on the short springy turf. One...

Hedgehog Guests

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On the subject of hedgehogs Commander W. M. Phipps Hornby writes from Berwick as follows: The account of Mr. W. A. Thomson's experience with a hedgehog largely bears out my own...

Twisted Tales

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Competitors were reminded that the Russians are alleged to have a Disinformation Service, whose task is the dissemination of misleading information. The usual prize was offered...

The Lakeside Scene When the weeds begin to die on

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the lake, as they do at the end of September, the fish seek deeper water. The shallows are no longer warm and rich in food. By about the same time the latest of the wild duck...


The Spectator

The centenary of the birth of Oscar Wilde falls on October 16, when an LCC plaque Is to be unveiled on his house in Tite Street, Chelsea, by Sir Compton Mackenzie. Wilde house...

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Compton Mackenzie I F it were worth arguing with those irrational creatures who believe that Bacon or anybody else except Shakespeare wrote the plays of Shakespeare there is...

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4 Turn of the Screw ll ) CORDON WILKINS NUMBER of

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people seem to have appreciated the few words I wrote recently pleading the case of the man who pays for his own motoring. One reader rightly r i ) ints out that slipshod design...

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The Spectator

Malcolm's Shed By RON A L D EDEN (Christ Church, Oxford) T HE stranger who travels the road past the ganu • keeper's cottage does not notice the shed behind it oil the fringe...

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Madame and the Secret Treaty

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By PHILIP SANDEMAN N 0 subject in English history has been more misrepre- sented by the politically prejudiced than politics and diplomacy in the period after' the Restoration....

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Another and Better Ruskin

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40111 1 Ruskin. By Joan Evans. (Cape. 25s.) th eir actors wanting to play Hamlet, English writers all want to have sitt..ir say about Ruskin. The story is familiar and...

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A Life of Anecdotes

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It Isn't This Time of Year at All. By Oliver St. John Gogarty. (Mao . Gibbon & Kee. 15s.) DR. GOGARTY is the last of the great stage Irish. His plump statelt manners, now...

Anthropologist's Awakening

The Spectator

Return to Laughter. By Elenore Smith Bowen. (Gollancz. 16s.) THIS book is, about a problem. How is it possible for one to understand a world which is not his own world? learn...

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r 12s. 6d.) Child With a Flower. By Elda Bossi. (Gollancz. 13s. 6d.) Miss BORTON was a journalist sent by her Boston newspaper on a week's assignment to Monterrey in Mexico....

Town and Gown

The Spectator

THE University has so overshadowed the City of Oxford that it provides almost a new field of local history. The town is well situated. Roads *Om London to Southampton and from...

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New Novels

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The Small Rain. By Diana Raymond. (Cassell. 10s. 6d.) The Narrowing Stream. By John Mortimer. (Collins. 10s. 6d.) The Small Rain is a novel of an easily-recognised type. A group...

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Lavender's Blue. A Book of Nursery Rhymes. Compiled by Kathleen

The Spectator

Lines and pictured by Harold Jones. (O.U.P. 15s.) ONCE upon a time a Professor of German Philology absent-mindedly brought his Welsh nooks to his class in Old Irish. He dived...

THESE accounts of naval occasions add some small fragments to

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the still incomplete mosaic of the story of the Royal Navy in wartime. The first, largely based on records and survivors' memories, tells one ship's entire history; the second...

Jersey Cattle. Edited by Eric J. Boston. (Faber. 42s.) Jersey

The Spectator

Cattle. Edited by Eric J. Boston. (Faber. 42s.) THE Jersey cow, pale tan with black about her face and large, kindly eyes, is an animal not only of beauty but of a sweet nature....

English Institute Essays, 1952. Edited by Alan S. Downer. (O.U.P.

The Spectator

24s.) THE present volume falls into two main sections—one a symposium on William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, the other consisting of chapters from the recent history of...


The Spectator

H EADMASTERS are by profession remote; doubly remote when dead. The affairs of a (treat public school are apt, in print, to seem Parochial. It will be a pity if considerations...

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Company Notes

The Spectator

By CUSTOS LATE last week and on Monday the Stock Exchange experienced its most severe 'shake- out' in the speculative store shares and the developing gold mines of the OFS....


The Spectator

By NICHOLAS DAVENPORT IT looks as if industrial production in this country in 1954 will be about 6 per cent. higher than in 1953. In the first half of the year it was over 7 per...

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The Spectator

ACROSS: 1 Mark time. 5 Placed. 9 Pendants. 10 Bottle. 12 Episode. 13 Anagram. 14 Metaphysical. 17 l'carl fishers. 22 Nirvana. 23 In train. 24 lbadan. 25 Ambition. 26 Geezer. 27...


The Spectator

AMEN .1111•••••111 •• • • .111;1111:1 , AM IN 11111111•••` 1 - 11i1 111 *Al NEM ills 011•1111•1111••111 • • lir • :t • ' ■ 1•111 • • • III • . • :•1:4 , • Two prizes are...