26 DECEMBER 1947

Page 1

Decisions for France Even though a relative calm reigns in

The Spectator

France today everything points to a major crisis in 1948. The financial measures proposed by M. Ren6 Mayer are certainly more drastic than any others which have been tried since...


The Spectator

T HE conference that failed has left its inevitable aftermath, but in fact the harvest is hardly visible yet. Mr. Bevin's report to the House of Commons was conspicuous for its...

Page 2

Mr. Bevan and the Doctors

The Spectator

Publication of the communications exchanged between the Minister of Health and the British Medical Association is a salutary reminder that the National Health Service Act comes...

The Chancellor's Christmas Card

The Spectator

In last week's debate on the White Paper on Capital Investment, Sir Stafford Cripps said that we could look forward to 1948 with quiet confidence. But he characteristically—and...

Labour v. Communists

The Spectator

The decision of the Labour Party to take up the Communist challenge seriously at last is very timely. A truce between Socialists and Communists as the two parties define...

A Warning from Canada

The Spectator

The trade agreement with Canada Which was concluded in Ottawa last week should give pause to those joyful optimists who have so quickly forgotten the gap in the balance of...

Page 3


The Spectator

T HERE is cynicism, irony, almost tragedy, in such a heading. Christmas is before all things the festival of peace. "Unto us a child is born." "God was in Christ, reconciling...

Page 4

Two candidates proposed for the pillory ; on the whole

The Spectator

I accept them both. First "the intellectual climate" and similar expressions —an unwarranted and (I am bound to agree) much-to-be-deprecated use of the word "climate." Second,...


The Spectator

T HE division of opinion in the House of Commons on the Civil List grant to Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh was curious. The Select Committee which considered the...

Testimonials to this country from abroad are not uncommon, but

The Spectator

one I came across the other day seems to have more than ordinary merit. A Pole who had fled for political reasons to Austria and lived in a D.P. camp there was sent to farm work...

* *

The Spectator

Sir Alexander Maxwell (not the Home Office one), who is chairman of the British Tourist and Holidays Board, seems to me to make a strong point when he argues that the abolition...

I always welcome the opportunity of acclaiming outstanding pieces of

The Spectator

journalism, and certainly the message in Friday's Daily Telegraph on the evacuation of Ramak, on the north-west frontier, deserves that description. Pakistan, within whose area...

In writing on Mr. Dalton's resignation just after it happened

The Spectator

I suggested that a partial explanat:on of the Chancellor's apparent folly in disclosing his Budget proposals to a journalist half an hour or so before he began his Budget speech...

Page 5


The Spectator

A MERICANS are beginning to guess who may be their next President. But the discussion of candidates is still little more than a political parlour game, played with surprising...

Page 6


The Spectator

By GILBERT WALKER T HE Transport Act, 1947, is law, and on Vesting Day, January 1st 1948, the British Transport Commission succeeds to an immense • undertaking. Five men will...

Page 8


The Spectator

By MICHAEL BERRY E NQUIRIES are being made as to why foxhunting still survives. Who hunts and why ? Well, the first necessity for the survival of any pack of hounds is a...

Page 9


The Spectator

By W. J. BROWN, M.P. T HE Penguin series has added to our already considerable debt I to it by producing two very topical books on politics—one, by John Parker, M.P., entitled...

Page 10

To ensure regular receipt of The Spectator, readers are urged

The Spectator

to place a firm order with their newsagent or to take out a subscription. Newsagents cannot afford to take the risk of carrying stock, as unsold copies are non-return- able....


The Spectator

By H. D. WALSTON B EFORE the war metropolitan France was, to all intents and purposes, self-supporting. Today the high cost of food—the principal cause of the recent...

Page 11


The Spectator

By HAROLD NICOLSON I HAVE received a Christmas present from an unknown friend. It takes the form of a small book bound in maroon cloth with gilt lettering. The book is entitled...

Page 12

THE CINEMA "Build My Gallows nigh.- (Odeon, Leicester Square).—" Mrs.

The Spectator

FItzherbert." tEmpire). To keep us happy over Christmas, the season of meekness and "gentleness in hearts at peace," the Odeon is offering us a film called Build My Gallows...


The Spectator

INDIAN DANCING Ram Gopal IT is surprising and regrettable that the organisers of the Indian Exhibition at Burlington House have not snatched at the wonderful opportunity...

Adam Zero, revived on December t6th at Covent Garden, is

The Spectator

a would-be philosophical ballet descending in a direct line from Les Presages. It is a form of ballet favoured at the moment in France, it seems, unless the Ballets des Champs...

Page 13

In My Garden Perhaps a garden pergola is most comely,

The Spectator

and certainly most tidy, if it is restricted to one type of plant, like the white wistaria at Gravetye ; but it is most amusing to indulge in a wide variety. A climber that can...


The Spectator

AND did the stars fling down their spears And did Orion hold his breath, With gold illuminated tears, When looking down on Nazareth? Arcturus and Aldebaran, Cassiopeia and the...

Year - end Flowers Among Christmas flowers, which seem likely this year

The Spectator

to include the Mermaid briar, best of all the climbing roses, one humble specimen is worth the fond attention of those who enjoy cut flowers. It is nearly always possible, even...

Returning Vines It is an established cause of wonder why

The Spectator

the grape-vine has disappeared from England as an out-of-door plant. Michael Drayton and Shakespeare and scores of writers into the eighteenth century allude to English...

Postage on this issue: Inland, lid.; Overseas, Id.

The Spectator


The Spectator

No month in the year has been more unfairly treated by the poets and rhymesters than December. Shakespeare (though he gives it the more or less endearing epithet "old ")...

Page 14

FALSE DEMOCRACY SIR, —One thing stands out clearly among the reiterated

The Spectator

misconceptions contained in the long letter you have received from Moscow. It is the recurrent use, or rather misuse, of the word "democracy," which appears in every paragraph....


The Spectator

SIR, —In your issue of November 21st you were good enough to publish a letter from me on the position of graduate teachers in the national schools. In that letter I quoted...

SIR,—In M. Evgeny Tarle's ingenuous cable from Russia published In

The Spectator

your issue of December 19th, he has stated that two things are essential to ensure peace in Europe. He cites these as being, firstly, a genuinely democratic government in...


The Spectator

COUNT SFORZA'S POLICY Sta,—I think this is the first time that I put pen to paper in order to correct an article about myself. But I do so for two reasons : (1) because Harold...

Page 15


The Spectator

Sta,—I have read with interest the correspondence which has arisen from a letter, published in your issue of November 21st, from a German boy, Werner Fielits. Mr. Duder's letter...

LEARNING GERMAN Sta,—I was much interested to read Harold Nicolson's

The Spectator

article, in your issue of December 5th, on the difficulty of learning the English language. I am unable to agree with his opening sentence, and quote as one reason thr fact that...


The Spectator

StR,—In your comment on the new electoral map in your issue of December 19th, you do not remark on the effect that the redistribution of seats will have on present political...


The Spectator

Sra,—In your issue of December 12th, in his article The Marxist Brothers, Mr. Norman Kirby writes: "The Socialist movements of Bulgaria, Rumania and Serbia looked to St....

Page 16


The Spectator

Sta,—One cannot but appreciate the wisdom and far-sightedness of the article by the Steward of St. John's College, Cambridge, published in your issue of December 19th. In the...


The Spectator

Sin,—Since no one seems disposed to challenge Janus's assertion that there is a moral obligation on the part of Mr. T. L. Horabin to resign his seat in the Commons, may I do so....


The Spectator

Snt,—Knowing your paper's wide connections, I wonder if you can help me communicate with any British organisation or persons interested in promoting the welfare of Ukrainian...


The Spectator

Sin,—Mr. Scott writes: "Unity on the lines of the South India United Church is regarded with much displeasure among Anglicans." It would be more accurate to say that some...


The Spectator

your . issue of December 12th you say that "no one from whose memory the great Liberal traditions of the past have not faded could see the disappearance of a Liberal Party from...


The Spectator

SIR, —In your leading article of December 12th and in a reference to the proposal to nationalise "the highly efficient iron and steel industry," you write that "if a...

Page 17


The Spectator

The Jackson "New Deal " The Age of Jackson. By Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. With an introduc- tion by Herbert Agar. (Eyre and Spottiswoode. 21s.) IN March, 1829, a mob of uncouth,...

The Ghent Altarpiece

The Spectator

ON May 6th, 1432, there was set up in the church of St. John at Ghent the great painting which is known by common consent as the Ghent altarpiece. The Adoration of the Lamb (or...

Page 18

Building at Oxford

The Spectator

Oxford Stone. By W. J. Arkell. (Faber and Faber. 25s.) ARC.HITECTS nowadays work mostly in substitute materials, and feel about stone much the same as they feel about vintage...

Britain Before Caesar

The Spectator

Prehistoric Britain. By Jacquetta and Christopher Hawkes. (Chatto and Windus. 15s.) "PREHISTORIC "—the schoolboy who in 1947 finds that he has exactly 2,000 years of British...

Page 20

In the Streets of Victorian London

The Spectator

The Street Trader's Lot : London 1851. By Henry Mayhew and Stanley Rubinstein. (Sylvan Press. 12s. 6d.) IN a way, in spite of its poignancy and the mass of information it...


The Spectator

THERE are six contemporary English novelists whose books I always order in advance, because I know that I shall be able to read them again and again. They are Miss Elizabeth...

Page 22

Shorter Notices

The Spectator

The Day Before Yesterday. By R. A. Scott-James. (Muller. 10s. 6d.) The Day Before Yesterday consists of editorials written by Mr. Scott-James for The London Merc14, and covers...

I'll Cook for You. By Georges Kaftal. (Harvill Press. 7s.

The Spectator

6d.) THIS excellent book on how to make the best of rations should prove a godsend to those thousands of amateurs who have been forced by circumstances to become cooks. So...

English Book Illustration, 1800 - 1900. By Philip James. (King

The Spectator

Penguin Books. 2s.) HERE is the social and spiritual history of the nineteenth century, illustrated and laid before our eyes. The century started with Bewick and Blake, one...

Marlborough : His Life and Times. By the Rt. Hon.

The Spectator

Winston S. Churchill. (Harrap. 2 Vols. 50s. the set.) WHEN MT. Churchill's great work on his most illustrious ancestor first appeared fourteen years ago, The Spectator said of...

Page 24

Collected Papers. By R. A. L. Smith. (Loxiginans. 8s. 6d.)

The Spectator

R. A. L. SMITH, before his death at the early age of twenty-nine, had made his name in an important but hitherto almost unexplored field of mediaeval history. As the result of...

THIS is an autobiography marred a little by being told

The Spectator

as a story. Hilda Winstanley, "a tall girl, well made," with "very fine straight chestnut-brown hair," appears first being bidden to stand up and show respect to the vicar—an...

THIS irresistibly attractive volume might almost be described at Knole

The Spectator

by the spirit of Knole. It was first published in 1922, and, after various reprints, reappears now with many new illustrations— the illustrations are a feature of the book—and a...

German Porcelain. By W. B. Honey Early Islamic Pottery. By

The Spectator

A PERCEPTIVE refinement is common ainong British ceramic studies ; tn it this series adds a continuous awareness of historical issues which will make many readers wish that such...

An Exposition of Empire. By C. E. Carrington. (Cambridge University

The Spectator

Press. 3s. 6d.) BY his choice of title Mr. Carrington, intentionally or otherwise, challenges comparison with Professor Hancock's brilliant Argument of Empire which, in the...

Page 25

ningrprep o anparson MEI= RIMMO UMMMODE14 &AMMER! Eing , .12olno Ea a

The Spectator

L3 ri al= 13E103L.'10 0 m 4 o 0 S EL 0 u _g A R e!s. '12LaralUelt WU 0 G3 E utmo L e s m &Hal P S B E IP A R 0 SOLUTION ON JANUARY 9th The winner of Crossword No. 455 is :...


The Spectator

2 3 4 5 6 o7 WM IIMOMVN / 0 IL_ / R MV, \ k'NloW \\ N'k \ X\ N\\ \ \ II•K\ 18 I V•••., ••.` ' rit Book Token for one guinea will be awarded to the sender of the...

Page 26


The Spectator

By CUSTOS Wax only a few days remaining before the exchange into British Transport stock home railway investors are now face to face with their re-investment problem. I do not...