Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1955

Under the headings 'Maclean-Burgess case'; 'Macmillan unfolds 'painful story'' and 'No evidence Philby was 'Third Man'', the Post ran the following story:

The Foreign Secretary, Mr Harold Macmillan, said that Conservatives and Socialists shared the blame for the 'horrible crime of treachery' committed by Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

Opening a debate in the House of Commons on the two diplomats who defected from the Foreign Office to Russia four years ago, Mr Macmillan said: 'It can rarely have happened in our long Parliamentary history that the political head of a department should have had to unfold to the House of Commons so painful a story as that which it is our duty to consider today. Our foreign service feels this is a personal wound.' Mr Macmillan also said that no evidence had been found that Harold Philby, who had been named as the 'third man' by a Labour MP, was responsible for warning Burgess and Maclean.

Communism had exerted on some men 'a pull which was to prove much stronger than patriotism', said Mr Macmillan. The list of men who could 'commit the horrible crime of treachery' reached finally to some holding posts 'in these two cases, the subject of this debate, in the Foreign Office. Both the Opposition and the Government share responsibility. The main acts in the drama took place when the Opposition was in power.' He summed up the division of blame: that Burgess and Maclean defected while the Labour Party was in power, but that the Conservatives that succeeded to power 'are accused of having said too little and too late'.

Driving with faultless consistency, Robert Richie, a corporal in the Royal Air Force, brilliantly won the second Macao Grand Prix in his Austin-Healy 100. His time over the 60-lap Guia circuit was three hours, 55 minutes, 55.7 seconds and his average speed was 59.49 miles per hour.

More than 10,000 spectators watched the gruelling race as one car after another fell into trouble, including Macao favourite Lopes da Costa's Ferrari Mondial, which took the lead from the start and held onto it easily until the Governor's son-in-law was compelled to withdraw owing to a broken radiator.

Only six of the 12 cars that started finished.

Specialists in international law are puzzling over a problem: Who shall own an ice continent as big as Europe and the United States together?

Ever since an American seal hunter discovered it in 1820, nations have been intrigued by the ice world at the end of the Earth. What secrets are locked in its frozen wastes? How can its potential wealth be wrested from the snow shroud that covers it to thousands of feet? It is thought the six million square miles were once tropical and certainly contain coal, oil - and uranium. The promise of the latter may one day spark off lots of rushes for this gold of the atom age; in fact the Russians are already prospecting there.

But who owns Antarctica? Seven countries - Britain, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand and Norway - have filed claims. The problem of Antarctica has still to be resolved. Nobody is likely to concede to anybody now that there is the possibility of some explorer uncovering rich stores of atomic ore, so perhaps the best solution would be international control.

New York - Mr David Ben Gurion, Premier of Israel, was reported to have said in a newspaper interview there was a danger of full-scale war between Israel and Egypt if Israel could not get the same amount of arms that Egypt was receiving.

The interview, by radio-telephone, was with Mr William Randolph Hearst, Editor-in-Chief of the Hearst newspapers, and was published on the front page of the Journal-American.

Mr Hearst asked Mr Ben Gurion: 'Do you think the present situation might develop into full-scale war?'

Mr Ben Gurion replied: 'If Israel were able to get the same amount of arms and military equipment Egypt is now receiving, I am sure there would be no war. If we cannot get the arms, I am sure there is a danger of full-scale war.'