A FEW weeks ago Mr. Drew Pearson was telling his American readers that Britain is "sinking." The British economy he wrote "is fast going down the drain." Mr. Pearson, I imagine, has been Listening too attentively to our moaning Minnies, to be!Jy-achingBritish travellers with their hard-luck, hard-up stories. I have heard these clowns in action in New York and Washington. After two or three martinis they become Jachrymose: it's ail very well for you Americans, they say, but you should try living in Britain under a government of scoundrels, where taxation stifles initiative, where management is inefficient, and workers are bone-idle.
Name and Fame
Americans, Come Home !
A matter of public concern
Well, at last the news has broken, and, here in Fleet Street, our sighs of professional relief are audible even above the rattle of typewriters that have Iain so long under the crippling embargo of decency and our antiquated libel laws. But now it can be told-Maurice Edward Wainwright, forty-seven-year-old platelayer and father of four, is being sued for divorce by his wife Dolores, thirty four, trim, partly blonde housewife and mother of seven.
The name droppers
I 'M proud to say that 1 now know quite a few LieutenantGenerals and a fine body of men they are too. But in June 1944 I knew hardly any, so when my Colonel told me that the Corps Commander was reported to be visiting our beaches in order to see what we were up to and would 1 kindly go and look after him, 1 naturally straightened myself out pretty smartly. Actually, there was a lull in the proceedings that morning and we weren't up to very much. We were humping petrol, washing our smalls, writing home to mother and taking the fuses out of those wretched Tellermines. 1 soon tracked our General down. He was watching a working party-Sgt. Jackson in charge and Sgt. Jackson for his part was very intently watching our General. There was no saluting or anything like that; ail very Daily Mirror and democratic. 1 was embarrassed. "What's the malter Sergeant ?" 1 asked in a Joud stage whisper. " Have you never seen a Lieutenant-General before?" "Oh yes, sir, yes," he replied, "but that's the first one l've ever seen standing on a live Tellermine."
BRITISH industry, if the Sunday advertisement pages are anything to go by, is keener than ever before to get its short hairy fingers on the university graduate: from now until midsummer the darker alleys of Oxford, Leeds, Keele and elsewhere will be thick with masked personnel officers, laying ambush in the cause of anything from cosmetics kingdoms to cernent empires. One sniff of an up-and-coming BA and they're
To the new eater
"One of the first death pangs of haute cuisine," says an expert, on a top Mayfair restaurant's closing. "People no longer want large menus and fuss-they are afraid of making a social faux pas."
The state of Fleet Street has now reached a point where even Fleet Street itself, normally excessively modest about discussing its own affairs in public, can no longer remain silent.
Another handful of ashes
Somewhere, in a passage I cannot at the moment trace, Neville Cardus describes a scene at Lord's in the early days of September 1939. The stands were utterly deserted. So were the benches in front of the Tavern; and so, but for one sad old member, was the Pavilion.
Letters to Our Masters
Dear Barbara Castle, lt makes a nice change to have a woman at the Ministry of Transport, especially after those depressing years with vain Ernie Marples. Tory whiz-kid Peter Walker, your "shadow," hasn't quite learned to cope with it yet- partly, one suspects, because he does1ù know much about transport, and partly because they taught him at Latymer Upper School that one must be polite ro women. 1 am no more qualified than Mr. Walker (or any other disgruntled motorist) to talk about transport, but this is not in any case the purpose of my letter. 1 am addressing this to Barbara Castle, housewife and grammar-school product, who has proved that a woman can succeed in what has always been regarded as a man's world. And 1 am doing it because I am sure that you, as a member of the Cabinet, could do much to ensure that others of your sex get the same sort of chances- and that, in the process, Britain gets the most out of her resources of labour.
The neck strine from plaform 2
Better men than I have been fascinated by the idea of huge empty sunlit Australia (as unknown to the world until quite recently as his subconscious was to man) as a symbolic landscape - and I don 't mean only painter S. Nolan. There was a review somewhere of Voss, by Patrick White another great book I absolutely must read or 1'11 be seventy before I know where I am) lamenting the impossibility for an English novelist of making a journey inland from, say, Skegness (Lincs.) seem as symbolic as the great odyssey described in that universally praised Australian novel. And then there's the marvellous poem by D. H. Lawrence, about the kangaroo
Post-war Years 1945-1954 Ilya Ehrenburg Macgibbon and Kee 63/- In this fifth volume of his memoirs Ehrenburg gives an account of life under Stalin which in some ways is the frankest yet published inside Russia. The great diplomat Maxim Litvinov, we now learn, livcd in such fear of arrest that for the last fifteen years of his life he kept a loaded revolver on his bedside table. "If there were to be a ring at the door in the night, he was not going to wait for what came after."