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flying Disc Nonsense Again In U.S.


NEW YORK, March 15.

If you are a small man you had better not visit the United Stares just now. You are liable to be taken for the midget pilot of a space ship. New York it probably safe enouah. but out in

Los Angeles or Denver, or in South Carolina, it is danaerous to be tinv.

PEOPLE there gaze at the sky and see flying saucers. They find pieces of metal on the hillside and it is the wreckage of a machine from Mars. The lynx-eyed have lately even been spotting dwart aviators and goblins in goggles, and pilots only two feet high. I thought we had heard the last of tiie flying disc damness. So did the Air torce. which car ried out a solemn Investigation and reported '*no evidence of interplanetary machines.' But' flying saucers are back with us and I brace myself for even more bizarre reports until every kitchen utensil starts to fly. What has got into the minds of people when tney see appar itions in the heavens? Psychiatrists blame the uni versal fear complex and the urge for diversion and escape. Always ready to oolige, I snail do my part. There will be no politics in the diary this week, no dread warnings, no analysis of Great Britain. Instead I give you fun and games. firiat AMrioan Minaet 11 is now plain that the cock tail party has replaced the Communist Party as the great American menace. There nave been so many cocktail parties- lately in Washing ton that the press is de manding an enquiry into those staged ny Government Agen cies. Parties have become one of the great American industries. They are Dig business. The American State Department spent £40,000 on entertainment last year and plans to spend more this year. A single big Washinston or New York narty

costs as mucn as a nouse — £3,000 to £4.000. Way are such parties given? The Government conuracts to show off. They are also given to help get rid of piles of sur plus food. The Government is running out oi caves and store houses and has now turned to scoring grain hi condemned gymnasiums, broken aown pmiie hangars and abandoned ships. Next, week they may oe using old shoe boxes and laundry bags. Meanwhile, they give parties. 1 attend two or three weekly out of a stern sense of duty. The best par ties are private ones. The one I enjoyed most last week was given by Prince Serge Obo lenaky and Cecil Beaton to un veil a new apartment which Beaton had decorated jn the Sherry Netherland Hotel. Janet Gaynor and her designer hus band Adrian were the guests of honor. Lord Carnarvon cornered me nd said, 'Your diary is cement for ' Anglo-American rela tions.' Now it has been called everything. Michael Arlen said, 'I'm the luckiest writer alive. I'm 54, very fit, slim and extraordi narily, indolent. But I'm no idler. For several years I've been working on another book —not another 'Green Hat,' nothing like that— about people I've met and places I've gone to hi the past 10 years.' Arlen s definition of an Englishman: — 'A man who has never been able to tell a lie about others, and who is never willing to tell the truth about himself.*' Rtllir Skating * w TOMEN now outnumber VV men m^ the United States by a million. Perhaps this fact is making them reckless. The 'American'' female has taken to roller skat ing and the roller Derby has become a multi-million dollar business— a bloody business which involves collisions while skating at 35 miles an hour, broken noses and smashed teeth. The Amazon has returned to

jattle. and the roller brawl is iommon across the continent. The chief promoter of the roller Derby is Lea Seltzer, who las cashed in on the new craze. { He says. 'The roller brawl satis fies the primitive in women. Many have told me that they have been, timid too long, and they want to show they're tough. That's why this roller skating with women kicking, biting, gouging and scratching each other, has caught on. It is giv ing women a chance to express

hemselves and get rid of their frustrations. The fans enjoy it, too,. It's not unusual for women spectators to get into the swing of the thing and go after a skater with a heavy handbag. It's all very healthy, and a massacre helps their in somnia.' How are the British doing in New York? Only so so. We are given full marks for our turbine car, al though Detroit seems to be in different, but black marks for our dollar drive. Travellers say that Britain is not offering incentives to the American tourist. But most people here regard England as merely a place to drop into en route to the Continent. Spring buying is down— at least 10 p.c. under last year, and New York stores are worried. Siring Hat* THE new spring hats are due to sprout flowers, birds and bees. Women will carry buckets of blossoms on their heads. Dresses are tubular. Star sprinkled stock ings have arrived. Holy Year has inspired cardinal red skull caps, cassock coats and ~ cross shaped jewellery. Tartan dinner jackets for men. following the King's example, are being featured by New York tailors. Film publicity expert Jock

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Lawrence, back from the film city, tells me there's a minor revolution going on in Holly wood. 'PeoDle are worried.' he says. 'No producer is spending money like in the old days. There's a desperate need for new names. Only about ten stars have pulling power at the box office. A new generation is going to the pictures and it wants fresh young faces to match its own. The present crop of big names has been in the business for years. To the kids they appear like grandfathers and grandmothers.' All this is true, yet the chances for young actors and actresses to break through the Hollywood barricades are the slimmest. John Gunther's book on Franklin Roosevelt, entitled 'Roosevelt in Retrospect, or In side FDR,' is the best yet. It tells about RooseVelt the man. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor have turned down television offers that would have netted them several thousand dollars a week for a commentary on society, poli tics and personalities. The Duke is almost morbidly cau tious in avoiding controversy. I'm pretty sure the Windsors would like to take part In a 'Buy British' drive here. Sharman Douglas took back to England as a gift for Prin cess Margaret six private re cordings of new songs by Nancy Donovan, who is now appearing at New York's Persian room. Miss Douglas said her ambi tion was to be an interior decorator — and not Mrs. Peter Lawford.