5 JANUARY 1968

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Once again, General de Gaulle, by breaking all the rules,

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has succeeded in making his point. The latest French onslaught on the dollar, in favour of gold, has at last panicked the Americans into recognising—and acting upon—what Europe...

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Portrait of the week

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The New Year received a quiet welcome in Trafal- • gar Square. In Vietnam it tended to be widely ignored: in spite of the truce thirty-five men were killed in the first ten...

Arms and the axe

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It is a long time since this country has had a coherent and comprehensible defence policy : one which makes the safeguarding of our national territory to the fullest extent...

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The sand-shoveller's vote-

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POLITICAL COMMENTARY AUSERON WAUGH Nye Bevan once remarked that opinion polls 'tad taken the poetry out of politics. What he probably meant was that they had removed the...

Winds of change

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CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS His hopes, what wind of change can boost? The bitter wind blows from the north, And every chick that ventured forth Is coming sadly home to roost. A...

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Do we need the F 111 ?

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DEFENCE LAURENCE MARTIN The F 111 is a complex and controversial air- craft in its own right. It would be difficult enough to assess its place in British defence policy if we...

A mug's game

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SANCTIONS JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE I don't suppose Mr George Thomson, the Commonwealth Secretary, has had much time to devote to Rhodesia during these Christmas holidays. By the time...

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Rifts in the junta

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ATHENS DIARY M. LLEWELLYN-SMITH Athens—An eventful fortnight. Colonels Papa- dopoulos and Makarezos and Brigadier Pattakos have dropped their ranks and turned plain mister....

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Jim's in-tray

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CRIME GILES PLAYFAIR What sort of commander-in-chief will Mr James Callaghan make in the `battle against crime'? Or, rather, how will he wish to be re- garded in this role by...

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Two faces of libel

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THE LAW R. A. CLINE What song the siren Lord Goodman sang to the New York lawyers about Mr Wil- son's libel action, and what responses they gave, though puzzling questions, are...

A problem of discretion

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PERSONAL COLUMN NIGEL NICOLSON Fascinating though it is for the observer, the recent spate of Cabinet leaks must seem a dread- ful portent to the participants. I am not...

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Feast of Clio

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THE PRESS DONALD McLACHLAN What, I wondered, could bring no fewer than four distinguished Express men to the Public Record Office at ten o'clock of a winter's morn- ing? Was it...

A hundred years ago From the 'Spectator', 4 January 1868—There

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is a mania for Mr. Dickens's readings in the United States of such force and magnitude that the day breaks,—we hope not so cold a day as we have had recently in England,—on...

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J. W. M. THOMPSON So Mr Wilson decided to give the poet's laurel to the sound and worthy Establishment man after all. Cecil Day Lewis may be the first ex- communist to hold the...

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Signs of the times

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TABLE TALK DENIS BROGAN Washington DC—The most acute commenta- tor on the American . scene, the legitimate successor to Mr Dooley, Mr Art Buchwald, late of Paris (France), has...

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The untruth at last

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HENRY TUBE Les Belles Images Simone de Beauvoir translated by Patrick O'Brian (Collins 25s) To attempt a critique of Simone de Beauvoir is rather like setting out to...

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HUGH GORDON PORTEUS The Chinese Knight Errant James J. Y. Liu (Routledge and Kegan Paul 35s) Indochina Bernard Philippe Groslier (Muller 70s) The Gods of Mexico C. A. Burland...

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Third Republic

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DAVID THOMSON Denis Brogan's tour de force on the Third French Republic came out just when the Republic was dying in June 1940. Its first new and revised edition had not...

Hard and fast

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C. B. COX Hard Travellin' Kenneth Allsop (Hodder and Stoughton 45s) Start a journey by car from New York along the turnpike, and even today it's impossible not to feel...

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Best of 1967

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RECORDS EDWARD BOYLE The new complete Decca Elektra (SET/MET 354-5), conducted by Solti, can be confidently recommended both to admirers of Richard Strauss and to opera-lovers...

The muddle is the message ARTS

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PENELOPE HOUSTON The Americans are today's Nazis,' says some- one in Far from Vietnam (Paris-Pullman, 'A'). The emotive, loaded comparisons pile up be- tween Spanish civil war...

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Prime pantomime HILARY SPURLING Anyone still on Christmas bent is advised to make instantly for a Magnificent New (1859) Fairy pantomime : Babes in the Wood by Henry James...

Surrealism lives

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ART BRYAN ROBERTSON For many years, the exhibitions policy of the Civic Gallery at Turin has been exceptionally enlightened in its attitude to modern art. The Andel Arte...

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES Exporters waiting for a lead from the Govern- ment may have missed the advice of Mr Anthony Crosland, President of the Board of Trade and Chancellor-manqué....

Stormy new year in the City MONEY

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NICHOLAS DAVENPORT The mood of the City after its New Year nights of escapism remains much like the mood of industry which Lord Watkinson described on BBC Panorama as 'sick,...

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The endless escalator

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BUSINESS VIEWPOINT W. M. CLARKE W. M. Clarke is a director of National and Grindlays Bank and was director of the Com- mittee on Invisible Exports. Are we asking too much of...

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ffolkes's business alphabet

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Market report

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CUSTOS President Johnson's measures in defence of the dollar began the London market's new year with a disagreeable shock. Their implications— economic warfare, slower recovery...

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Sir: That your often wrong, but generally fair- minded, views

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should have changed in character just at Christmas time (22 December) is a phenomenon I find most distasteful. Good will and charity are indeed remote from all you say about the...

What is pornography ?

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Sir: Anthony Burgess (1 December) had some excellent paragraphs in his article 'What is por-. nography?' He should have read a little more widely. His parti pris exposition...

Divorce English style

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Sir: I would like to comment on some points in R. A. Cline's interesting ; critical and condescend- ing article 'Divorce English style (22 December). The Divorce Law Reform...

In the name of God, go !

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Sir: What authority does the SPECTATOR (22 Decem- ber) have to tell the Prime Minister to go in the name of God? Believers will think this is taking the name of God in vain—so...

France becomes an island

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LETTERS From Christopher Sykes, Richard O'Neill; Michael Witty, T. C. Skeffington-Lodge, Alastair Service, D. I. Fitzgerald; P. E. Mallon, Lord and Lady Strabolgi, Francis...

Housing: The concealed crisis.

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Sir: Your special survey, 'Housing in Britain : The concealed crisis,' highlights economic waste on a vast scale; you have performed a most useful ser- vice in drawing this...

Sir: Mr John Radcliff (Letters, 29 December) equates decent human

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feelings with politics in his answer to Mr Christopher Sykes's letter of 22 December. No sensible person fights in defence of a political system—but many people might feel...

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Follies and mishaps of 1967

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Sir: Mr Livesey (29 December) seems to assume that the one grant of £2,000 we have so far received —specifically to maintain a scale of fees that at best • is still about a...

Sir: With reference to Rayner Heppenstall's review of John Haylock's

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and my translation of Philippe Jullian's Robert de Montesquiou (29 December), I challenge him to: (a) give instances of the use of the words `sensible,' mundane' and `abusive in...

1. Magical mystery tour ? TRAVEL

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TREVOR GROVE The f50 limit, of course, was something of a wind - fall for the package-tour merchants. This year, with devaluation to boot, even more of Its will be going by the...

Creaking springs

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Sir: No doubt a reviewer is entitled to a little fun and games at the festive season. All the same, the odd sober comment here and there would not have utterly ruined Mr John...

Echo de Paris

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Sir : Rayner Heppenstall complains in his review of David Tylden-Wright's Anatole France (29 December) that 'After all, there is not much point in referring an English reader to...

Wish you were here

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Sir: Mr Fernsby (Letters, 29 December) defines in money terms. In his ABC 1 middle class are colliers, dockers, steelworkers, reinforcement fixers et alia. Donald McLachlan's...

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2. Devalued hols

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LESLIE ADRIAN Back in the summer, travel agents were told to plan on the assumption that the basic' holi- day allowance for the year November l967- October 1968 would again be...

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No. 482: Octet

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COMPETITION Competitors are invited to compose an eight- line poem or stanza of a poem, on any one of the subjects given below, using the follow- ing four pairs of words as...

No. 479: The winners

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There are always one or two of the given words that separate the sheep from the goats. This week it was geranium-pots, with teens a close second. W. H. Thomson's parody of...

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The wit of Leslie Frewin'

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AFTERTHOUGHT JOHN WELLS The contents of this elegantly produced cocoa- table book, planned as a triumphant climax to the series which includes The Wit of Sir Robert Menzies and...

Junior winners

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Although not many competitors tried to imitate the style of a favourite author, there were several first class entries. W. R. McGaffin's advertisement for a coffin-sale showed a...

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Crossword no.1307

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Across 1 In the place of marble halls, they put flowers out of sight! (10) 6 This bag in the hold, please (4) 10 Yellow bresim ( 5 ) 11 Special gets upset about Diafra's return...

Chess no. 368

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PHILIDOR Black White 10 men 8 men Professor W. K. Wimsatt (Chess, 1937). White to play and mate in two moves; solution next week. Solution to no. 367 (Cohn): Add W K on K 5,...