THE DEEP FREEZE
By Auberon Waugh
MR. HERTER'S threat to withdraw tariff concessions on goods from the Six is long overdue. but the fact that things have gone on so long in France's fav
our shows how much can he done in the modern world by simply not being wet. Until France's partners in the Community and outside can show a resolution to compare with General De Odles, he will always carry the des. Although it is in none of the partners' interest to see the (immunity dissolved, they should he much more prepared to bring it to the brink of dissolution and await lit least some concessions from France to save it. That said. one cannot help feeling a sneaking sympathy with France in her present crisis Involvieg the import of American frozen chickens. if 1 were dictator of France there would be few things I would not do to exclude American frozen chickens,
But just as it is a basic fact of economics that one cannot sell refrigerators to the Africans without buying their cocoa beans, the French have got to accept that they cannot sell brandy and champagne to the Americans without accepting at least some frozen chickens in return,
Clearly the thing to do is to divert these morsels to the former French possessions as part of France's imaginative foreign aid programme. Pedlar,. in time, Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians would long for a return to the days when the French were among them.
AHEALTHY tradition on the Continent which one misses very much in England is for the whole congregation at Mass to join in the singing, regardless of sex. age or natural talents.
English parish priests explain that it is simply impossible to get the English to sing. yet Anglicans sing like nightingales. Atheist English males will sing on a charabanc Outing to a football match, and the female at Women's Institutes.
Short of offering substantial bribes by way Of indulgences there scents little the Catholic Church can do. but I do think that if they stuck to the same tunes it would make things easier.
Too many parishes in my experience are dominated by an enthusiastic choir of musical purists. Oblivious to the fact that what they actually produce is by any musical standard undistinguished. they embark on more and more ambitious programmes which have the result of striking the rest of the congregation dumb. At Low Mass here. the congregation sings the Gloria, Creed and Sanctus from the Missa dc Angelis, first class tunes which everybody knows. Nobody sings the Kyrie, and the choir does the Agnus Dci. 1 once met a girl who said she knew three hundred ways to cook a sausage. The parish choir which claims to know ten ways of singing the Kyrie seems to have achieved nothing more useful than she.
WHILE Mrs. Bandaranaike's government in Ceylon threatens to nationalise tea plantations without compensation as a
reprisal against any reprisals we may have in mind for her previous nationalisation of oil. banks and insurance, also without compensation.
we may reflect that Ceylon's case. although extreme, is not particular. Anxious as all the underdeveloped countries are to attract foreign capital, they must acknowedge that its acceptance as a means of creating wealth imposes certain restraints. The tendency has been that as soon as risk capital begins to show a profit, it is nationalised. Where it does not show a profit, loss is borne by the investors. The effect of nationalising industries as soon as they begin to show a profit need be no worse than to discourage foreign investment, and in evolving countries there will clearly come a time when nationalisation is mote immediately profitable than attracting further capital.
But nationalisation without compensation is another matter. Ordinary nationalisation is no more than an additional risk, making the investor more chary of taking the plunge unless his returns are spectacular. but Ceylon's action is a dente' of capitalism. There can be room for such a government inside the capitalist system, and while one is reluctant to see another country lost to the free world, the advantages both to Ceylon and to ourselves of keeping her in it no longer apply. The tragedy is that Ceylon will not find the Eastern bloc any more respectful to her national conceit than we have been.
ICANNOT claim to be as excited as Fleet Street about the discovery of the
remains of a Roman ship in filackfriars. One knew the Romans were there. and I never doubted they used ships.
An enormous amount of energy bus been consumed to preserve, some relics of no aesthetic value, and very doubtful historical interest. Archaeologists would be much better employed excavating the cellars of our museums, already overstocked with material of far greater importance, An extension of the liberal doctrine that all works of art should belong to mankind rather than to the person who is fortunate enou eh or clever enough to acquire them has been that an enormous number of works of major importance has completely disappeared from view. 1 he student can usually see them after application in writing to the curator. but nobody has the pleasure of owning them and fat fewer people see them than would do if they were in private ownership. If museums were allowed to sell off such minor works of art as they arc unable to show, or still better. if they were forced to sell everything which they had not exhibited for five years, not only would the sum of human pleasure he increased. but also works of art would genuinely come within range of the poorer man's pocket. . As it is nobody profits, and under the meaningless phrase of public ownership the scandal continues. I will he happy to sell my share in all recent acquisitions by the Tate Gaitery to anybody who puts in an offer.
TOMORROW (A ugust 17) is celebrated as Independence Day in Indo
nesia. a it d progressive Englishmen who will be rejoicing with the Indonesians may take added pleasure from the reflection
that soon she will be practically a member of the Commonwealth.
I can see no possible explanations for the creation of Malaysia, a union of distant and disparate states other than the wish of some very junior member of the Foreign Office to introduce the odious Dr. Soekarno into our counsels. He was too much of a good thing, they must have felt, to he left outside.
The approaching independence of a small part of Borneo certainly does not justify such a nonsense as the association of Malaya, a solvent and comparatively prosperous exporting country, and Indonesia. a hopelessly insolvent Socialist dictatorship. North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak must have accepted the virtual certainty of being swallowed up by Indonesia as part of the price of independence. although 1 have not yet seen it seriously suggested that they want independence under these conditions. All that is certain about the Federation of Malaysia. if ever it comes into being in any sAtinse except on paper, is that Malaya will hack out as soon as she has had time to look around, and Soekarno will be left to impose his cruel and inefficient tyranny on the people in our former dependencies.