William V Shannon
William Shannon

Fellowship Title:

How does one become an M.P.?

William Shannon
December 18, 1969

Fellowship Year

There are several differences between the way in which one becomes a Member of Parliament and the way in which one gets elected to the House of Representatives. Mathematically, the chance of becoming an M.P. is much higher. Britain with only 50 million people has 630 M.P.’s while the U.S. with 200 million people has only 435 representatives. To provide the same proportion, the House of Representatives would have to be increased to about 2500 members. The difference which is most striking to an American, however, is that in Britain most M.P.’s are not natives or even residents of the constituencies they represent. In the United States where politics is locally rooted, it is legally possible but exceedingly rare for a person to be elected to the House in a district in which he does not live. This is the source of a major frustration in American politics. There are many more potential candidates for Congress among the better-educated, sophisticated, and wealthy people in the metropolitan areas than there are places available. Local and state politics afford a partial relief for this frustration; many men are serving in city and state offices whose real ambition is to play a part in national affairs in the House and Senate.

In the last two decades, a few of the very wealthy have been able to overcome this problem by moving to states or districts where their wealth or celebrity can provide an entre. John F. Kennedy, who had grown up in New York and Palm Beach, returned to a working-class neighborhood of Boston to start his Congressional career in 1946. His brother Robert moved back to New York to become a Senator in 1964. Similarly, Jay Rockefeller moved from New York to West Virginia to gain statewide office as a Democrat, while his Uncle Winthrop moved to Arkansas to become governor as a Republican.

But the Kennedy’s and the Rockefellers are exceptions in American politics. Most men who cherish a political career cannot manufacture their own political opportunities. They must pursue politics where they were born or where their careers take them. And although Americans are a restless, mobile people, their politics at the Congressional level remains parochial.

In Britain, aspiring candidates can often transcend local influences because party loyalty and party discipline are much stronger. In this report, we look at two quite different constituencies, which recently held by-elections. One is in London and safely Labor; the other is in rural Lincolnshire and safely Conservative. Both elected somewhat untypical figures in elections which, uncharacteristically, were marred by charges of scandal.



Islington is a densely populated neighborhood in London north of the Mayfair and West End sections best known to tourists. An area where lower middle class and the more prosperous working class people live, it is in a state of chronic transition. Parts of it are crumbling into slum while other parts are being reclaimed as middle class townhouses. It has numerous commercial streets but very little industry. Like many inner city neighborhoods in the United States, North Islington is the despair of political organizers because people are always moving and there is little sense of community identity.

Out of about 120,000 persons in the area, 50,000 are registered to vote and of those, about one-half turn out in a general election. It traditionally has gone to Labor by margins of 3-to-2 or 2-to-1. In Labor’s landslide in 1966, Gerry Reynolds held it easily. He polled 16,188, M.W. Morris (Conservative) 8,357 and Eric Thwaites (Liberal) 2,682. When Reynolds died this summer, North Islington was an attractive vacancy for Labor aspirants hunting for a seat. The margin was big enough to withstand the sharp drop in Labor Party support, which the Wilson Government’s unpopular deflationary measures have caused.

There are no primaries in Britain. Anyone may run for Parliament who obtains the signatures of ten voters and pays a deposit of about $360. If he fails to obtain 12 1/2 per cent of the total vote, he forfeits his deposit. How the major parties choose their candidates is strictly their own affair, and the law takes no cognizance of parties. Indeed, until a recent change in the electoral law, candidates were not even identified on the ballot by party.

A political hopeful in the Labor Party begins by joining the party, paying annual dues, and receiving his membership card. He does not join the national party; instead, he becomes a member of his C.L.P. (the Labor Party in his constituency). The national party headquarters at Transport House in London screens his membership to keep out Communists, Trotskyites, and others who might wish to infiltrate local parties for reasons of their own. There is no problem of being refused membership because one’s local party is in the hands of a self-perpetuating clique. When such manipulation occurs, which is infrequent, the national headquarters abolishes the local party and then reconstitutes it under new officers.

If a would-be candidate is a member of a union, his union can forward his name to Transport House for inclusion on List A of candidates. Otherwise, he is nominated for List B by his constituency party. Since the unions organized the Labor Party and are still dominant in financing its activities, sponsorship by a union is valuable though not indispensable in furthering a political career.

To get on List A or List B is only a starter. Such lists are made available to local party leaders when a constituency begins the process of choosing a new candidate. But to be considered, one has to be recommended by one of the ward parties—in North Islington, the constituency Labor Party is made up of six ward parties—or by the Women’s division, the Fabian Society, the Cooperative Society, or by a trade union. The Fabians, the Coop movement, and the unions are called “affiliated organizations,” and they vary in strength depending upon the nature of the constituency. The principal unions in Britain are affiliated to the Labor Party and pay one shilling, six pence (about 20 cents) per member per year to the national headquarters. In addition, union locals can affiliate to the constituency labor parties in the neighborhoods where their members live, not where they work. This distinction between place of residence and place of work was to prove crucial in the scandal, which subsequently unfolded in North Islington.

The affairs of each constituency party are run by a rather large committee, which is elected by the dues-paying members every year and which goes by various names. In North Islington, it is called the General Management Committee. This is the committee, which chooses the candidate for Parliament. Normally, about 25 to 30 persons attend the committee’s monthly meeting, but when the committee met for what is called the “selection conference,” all 54 members were present. After receiving nominations from the wards, the local unions, and the affiliated organizations, the committee can have ten to twenty names. (In North Islington, it had eleven.) These are winnowed down to about five names. This is the “short list.” It is never fewer than three and rarely more than seven. Every constituency party is a law unto itself in making up its short list. Generally, the most promising and attractive possibilities are short-listed.

When the North Islington General Management Committee met on September 7 for its selection conference, it had five names on its short list; Michael O’Halloran, the secretary of the party in North Islington; Vic Butler, the nominee of the London Cooperative Society for which he works as a paid organizer and the husband of Mrs. Joyce Butler, a well-known Labor MP; Keith Kyle, a journalist who appears frequently as a reporter and commentator on “Twenty-Four Hours,” BBC’s evening news television program; and two local party members, Louis Gyseman and James Morrissey. As short lists go, it was rather undistinguished. Butler had several times been short-listed in other constituencies without success. And although it is fairly common to have the secretary of the constituency party on the short list, three obscure local men on a list of five is unusual. Only Kyle would be regarded by any outside observer as qualified by talent and experience to be a first-rate M.P. He was the tacit favorite of the national party headquarters and had been nominated by one of the wards at the instigation of Transport House.

Before the selection conference got underway, it was apparent that the party in North Islington was badly split into O’Halloran and anti-O’Halloran factions. In the past ten years, several thousand immigrants from Southern Ireland have moved into the district, One focal point is the bus garage at Highgate where many of the 600 drivers and inside employees are Irish. They are members of Branch 1/232 of the Transport and General Workers Union. Traditionally, this branch only paid enough per capita dues to the local party to have one member on the General Management Committee, but under party rules, it could have as many as five members if it paid dues for all 600 employees. Like the Irish in the United States, the Irish in Britain are much more politically active than most other elements of the population. They are overwhelmingly Laborite, as they tend to be Democrats in the United States. The “old guard” in the North Islington Labor Party resented the influx of Irish. Two years ago, the election of the local party president turned into a showdown between the Irish and non-Irish factions in which Harry Reid, the non-Irish incumbent, was narrowly successful. Since that struggle, O’Halloran, an emigrant from County Clare, had become party secretary and an uneasy truce prevailed. When it became known last spring that Reynolds, the incumbent M.P., was dying, O’Halloran further stepped up his energetic recruitment of fellow Irishmen into the party. On July 9, when the General Management Committee held its first meeting after Reynolds’ death, two decisions were taken. One was to admit twenty-one applicants for party membership whose applications were already in the pipeline and the other was to freeze party membership until after the selection conference, a routine procedure to prevent last-minute “packing” of the party. Most of the 21 new members admitted on O’Halloran’s motion were not just ordinary rank-and-file members. They came from affiliated unions which were increasing their financial contributions to the constituency party and, proportionately, increasing their right to be represented on the General Management Committee and, therefore, to vote in the selection conference. Branch 1/232, for example, increased its paid membership enough to qualify for five seats on the committee.

A selection conference is closed to the press and the public. Even the wives of the candidates are excluded. The five on the short list make ten-minute speeches. The usual form is for the candidate to talk two or three minutes about himself, explaining his background and qualifications, and then to devote the balance of his remarks to national or local issues depending upon circumstances. In North Islington, as in most of London, housing is scarce, and it is the biggest issue. Most of the candidates stressed their local connections. Kyle, whom I later interviewed, said: “In my talk, I stressed that although I had worked as a journalist in the U.S. and in Africa, and foreign affairs are a major interest of mine, I was determined that if elected, I would be a good ‘constituency M.P.’ interested in local problems. I live outside the constituency but near it and before the selection conference, I spent most of a week walking through the area and familiarizing myself with its landmarks and particular problems. I was therefore able in my remarks on housing to cite specific slums on specific streets and refer to particular decisions of the borough authorities with regard to building sites.”

The selection conference which took place on a Sunday afternoon dragged on for several hours because after the speaking and before the voting, everyone stopped for a leisurely tea.

On the first ballot, O’Halloran received 27 votes, one short of a majority of 54. Butler had 9, Kyle 8, Gyseman 6, and Morrissey 3. Morrissey, it became apparent, was a “straw man” for O’Halloran. Although almost totally unknown in the constituency, he had received substantial support when the short list was being prepared. At the conference, he faded away to 3. In accordance with the British custom of eliminating the bottom man on each ballot until a majority is reached, Morrissey was dropped. On the second ballot Kyle rose to 10, Butler dropped to 8, Gyseman stayed at 6, but 0’Halloran went over the top with 29. The contest was closer than it appeared since O’Halloran was at his maximum strength. Most of the Butler and Gyseman supporters had told Kyle during the tea break that they would shift to him if their candidates fell back. This is, apparently, a familiar pattern in selection conferences with the front runner on the first ballot often falling just short as his rivals coalesce behind one man. O’Halloran had enough votes to avoid that fate. But the conference broke up in unaccustomed bitterness. When the motion was made to make his nomination unanimous, nearly half the members abstained.

The election was called for Thursday, October 30. Fifteen members of the North Islington party sent a petition to Transport House protesting O’Halloran’s nomination, but the party’s national headquarters said it found no grounds on which to intervene. Throughout the campaign, rumors of fraud percolated through the constituency. Combined with O’Halloran’s deficiencies as a campaigner, they led to speculation that Labor might actually lose the seat. O’Halloran, no orator, made only one formal speech. He spent the rest of his time canvassing door-to-door and handshaking his way through the neighborhood pubs. He avoided press conferences and confrontations with the other candidates. As the Labor candidate, he could not fail. With a much smaller turnout than in the general election three years ago, his Conservative and Liberal opponents held approximately two-thirds of their vote, while he polled less than half of the usual Labor vote, but enough to win. The returns were O’Halloran 7,288; A.D. Pearce (Conservative) 5,754; and Eric Thwaites (Liberal) 1,514.

It might be asked why a man like O’Halloran, with no taste for public speaking, would want to enter Parliament which, much more than Congress, is a debating forum where reputations are made or lost by speaking skill. In American politics, silent back-room types are often attracted to local and state politics because there are jobs and contracts to be dispensed. But M.P.’s have no patronage, and no one remotely conceives of Mr. O’Halloran as a future cabinet minister. The explanation would seem to be that for him as for many immigrants, politics is a step up in life. Professional men complain that they cannot make ends meet on an M.P.’s salary of L 3,250 (about $8,000) but it is almost double what O’Halloran had previously been earning as office manager for a building contractor.

On the Sunday night before the election, the Sunday Times printed a story by its “Insight” team of reporters concerning apparent irregularities in the composition of the selection conference at which O’Halloran had been chosen. On November 2, the Sunday after the election, it printed a much more thoroughly documented story, which asserted that the new M.P. for North Islington had been chosen “at a meeting where what can only be described as fraud was committed.”

The fraud was that two of those who voted for O’Halloran at the selection conference were impersonating real committee members, while a third was ineligible to vote because he lives in another constituency. Without these three votes, O’Halloran, instead of winning by two votes on the second ballot, would have fallen short by one. Whether he would have won legitimately on the third ballot, no one can say.

All three names involved in the case were those of Irishmen who are employed at the Highgate bus garage and who were admitted to the party at the July meeting. The most striking evidence cited was the tale of E.T. O’Dwyer. He had complained to the Sunday Times after his name was mentioned in the original story citing apparent irregularities:

“He was the only O’Dwyer at Highgate garage but not the ‘O’Dwyer’ who attended the selection conference as a (union) delegate. In fact, he was able to furnish proof that he was in Ireland at the time…

“With Mr. O’Dwyer’s permission, we approached his superiors at the garage on Wednesday morning to confirm his story. They were able to assure us that Mr. O’Dwyer was indeed the only O’Dwyer at the garage and had been on holiday from August 30 to September 17. They had received two postcards from him in Ireland.

“Mr. O’Dwyer could not imagine who the ‘O’Dwyer’ at the selection conference was. But he did recall that some weeks after the death of Gerry Reynolds, the previous member for North Islington, Mr. Bowe (chairman of Branch 1/232, the union local at the garage) had approached him in the garage and asked him whether he would like to take part in a selection process.

“According to Mr. O’Dwyer, Mr. Bowe had urged that he should do so and support the candidacy of O’Halloran,” a man from your own county.” (O’Dwyer, like O’Halloran, hails from County Clare in Southern Ireland.)

“O’Dwyer says he replied that as he did not even live in the constituency concerned there was no question of his taking part. ‘Even if I’d been able to,’ he added, ‘I would not have voted for O’Halloran’.”

Two national newspapers contended that O’Halloran should resign. But since O’Halloran was legally elected and nothing in the Sunday Times evidence connected him personally with this misrepresentation, he rode out the storm. Interestingly enough, officials at Transport House who reviewed the case—and a month later their findings have not yet been made public—were determined not only to punish the individual responsible for this Tammany-style “personation” but also to expel from the party those who had been responsible for “leaking” the story to the Sunday Times. One senior Labor Party official said to me: “What kind of party loyalty is it to drag out a story like this on the Sunday before a critical by-election? We know who did the talking and they will regret it.”

The North Islington affair did evoke proposals for reform of the selection process, although there is no disposition by the leadership of either party to espouse them. One plan would democratize and open up the selection conference by allowing paid-up party members to attend the meeting at which the executive committee chooses the short list and then to permit the final choice to be made by a postcard ballot of the entire constituency party membership. The Liberals, whose political prospects in most constituencies are too poor to be plagued with a surplus of candidates, provide in their new party constitution that the final choice of a candidate is to be made by a vote of all the paid-up members of a constituency party. Lord Beaumont, the Liberal Party president, asks, “Perhaps once again we are setting the pace?”

Balloting by the entire membership of a local party would bring the British system much closer to the American primary. But there is not much prospect of such an innovation being adopted any time soon. Keith Kyle, the runner-up in North Islington, explained why in a letter to The Times on November 4. After first noting that he had no evidence of impropriety and had taken no part in the effort to embarrass O’Halloran, Kyle wrote: “All candidates for nomination have in common a belief that their party ought in the public interest to win a by-election. This really is, and ought to be, a consideration more important than which of them is entrusted with the opportunity of being the standard-bearer.

“To the best of my knowledge, no great issues of public importance were at stake in the choice between the five short-listed candidates…

“How can more participation in the selection of M.P.’s be encouraged? Not, I think, having had considerable experience of observing and reporting American elections, by American-style primaries. The cost in time and money to the candidates for nomination would narrow the range of people from which candidates could be recruited (making it even more difficult than it is now for a person with legitimate Westminster ambitions to carry on a worthwhile career up to the moment of parliamentary election), and above all would make candidates who are not rich beholden to individual or institutional contributors who have chosen to back them personally rather than the party as such.

“Also, Conservative and Labour primaries would either tend to be fought on issues, high-lighting the choice between the most distinctively left-wing and the most distinctively right-wing candidates, thus exaggerating divisions and disadvantaging the moderates; or, alternatively, would be contested between candidates undivided by issues, in which case the only possible subject matter of the campaigns would be ‘personalities’ which would rapidly become odious. Examples of both types are found in every American primary season.”

In the United States, where we have carried the idea of voting for the man rather than the party to almost its ultimate extreme, this British insistence on the contrary view that party success matters more than the individual would seem a novel concept to all but the most dedicated party regulars.



The by-election in Louth provides a vivid contrast with North Islington. Louth is a farming constituency in Lincolnshire. Down to 1924, in the years when the Liberals were one of the two major parties, it usually went Liberal. But in the past forty-five years, it has had only two M.P.’s, both Tories. Sir Cyril Osborne, who held the seat for 24 years until his death this year, was a mildly eccentric, right-wing backbencher best known for urging the revival of flogging and hanging. In 1966, he withstood the pro-Labor tide then running and won by somewhat less than his usual plurality. The vote was Osborne 19,977; R. Brumby (Labor) 15,885; and E.I. Marshall (Liberal) 7,222. With the Labor Government now unpopular, the vacancy at Louth offered any Conservative candidate a sure passage into the House of Commons.

No fewer than 270 Conservative hopefuls asked the Conservative Central Office to submit their names to the party in Louth. The Conservatives have a simpler and more centralized system of candidate selection than Labor. Would-be candidates go to the national party headquarters in London and are interviewed by what is, in effect, a screening committee. If they are deemed acceptable, they are put on the list. At any given time, 300 to 400 names are on the list but not all of them are submitted to every constituency where there is a vacancy. A Scottish aspirant may say that he cannot take too much time away from his farm or his business and therefore would like to be considered only for a seat in Scotland. A young beginner may indicate his willingness to fight a hopeless Labor stronghold for the experience, while a candidate whose connections or experience encourage him to have a higher opinion of himself will tell the party that he wants to be considered only for a winnable seat. In the past, the Conservative Central Office could dictate to a local party its choice of a candidate. That is much less true today, partly because Mr. Heath, the party leader, is out of office and does not command the prestige of a Prime Minister and partly because constituencies are becoming more self-assertive. Nevertheless, the Conservative Central Office indicates in some instances whom it would like the local party to choose, an exercise of discretion in which Labor Party leaders do not indulge.

Under party rules, the local Conservative Party cannot add names to the list sent down from Central Office with the exception of local people. In Louth, four local men asked to be considered and their names were added to the 270 submitted by London. How to pare 274 to a short list of 3? In Louth, Mr. Jack Vincent, the head of the local Conservative association was more forthcoming on this delicate procedure than local chairmen often are. Since the local party has an executive committee of 90, it was too big to do the job. A subcommittee of 20 was agreed upon. This group met for the weekend in a small seaside hotel. At their first meeting, the members of this subcommittee agreed upon three guiding principles. First, no women. Some old-timers remembered that the last Liberal M.P. in the constituency was a woman and recalled her favorably, but the overwhelming majority reaffirmed the usual Tory prejudice against women in politics. (In the entire country, Conservatives have adopted only 12 women in the 630 constituencies and several of those are contesting hopeless districts. Women fare marginally better in the Labor Party and, understandably, best of all in the hard-pressed Liberal Party.)

Paradoxically, the second principle of selection was no bachelors. The Tory women made it clear they wanted a Member with a nice wife. Third, the subcommittee set the age limits of 30 to 60. These limits were somewhat euphemistic. In fact, the subcommittee did not want anyone much past 50 and, in the event, chose a man of 29.

Applying these criteria, the subcommittee after a day of intensive conversations short-listed 22 persons. All four of the local applicants were included as a courtesy. The next day the subcommittee got down to the much harder task of choosing three out of the 22 for the final short list. The first to be dropped were the four local men.

“It was felt that to choose any one of them would be to offend the friends of the other three,” one member of the subcommittee explained.

The extreme parochialism in a rural constituency helps explain why a Londoner could be chosen in this kind of district. To the Lincolnshire farmers, a “local” man does not mean a man from this constituency, which is sprawling and thinly populated; it means a man from this village or this part of the county. A “local” man from another village or from fifteen miles away might just as well come from the other side of the moon. The effect of these circumscribed loyalties is to cancel out, as it did here, local considerations altogether.

The three men finally chosen for the short list were John Davies, David Walder, and Jeffrey Archer. Davies, 53, is a successful, articulate businessman who just stepped down as head of the Confederation of British Industries, the equivalent of the National Association of Manufacturers in the United States. Davies has often appeared on television as a spokesman for industry’s viewpoint, is a friend and adviser of Heath’s, and, if the Conservatives win the next election, it is widely believed that he would go straight into the cabinet as President of the Board of Trade or Minister of Technology.

Walder, 41, was regarded as a young “comer” when he was in the House in the early ‘60’s, but he lost his marginal seat in 1966 and has been trying in this pre-election period to find a safe constituency. Archer, 29, owns his own public relations firm, Arrow Enterprises, and specializes in arranging charity luncheons and balls. He became well known in his field for the ingenious campaigns he devised to raise nearly $4,0OO,OOO for Oxfam, a voluntary organization to combat famine. Implicitly, the subcommittee had provided the local party with a choice—Davies, an older man and a national celebrity, Walder, middle-aged, politically experienced, and an ex-M.P.; and Archer, young and a newcomer.

The 90 members of the executive committee comprised the selection conference. On the night before it met, it was clear that the members were dividing into Davies and anti-Davies factions. Conservative Central Office sent word that it would like to have Davies selected. Mr. Vincent, the local party chairman, swung to his support. The anti-Davies faction caucused prior to the selection conference. Why were they against him? For some, the fact that Central Office wanted him was sufficient reason to oppose him. Others felt that he was too old. Still others felt that after the next general election, he would go into the cabinet and therefore be too busy and perhaps too self-important to appear often in the constituency which is an inconveniently long train trip from London.

The anti-Davies members decided to concentrate their support behind Archer. In the earlier weeding-out, he had been helped because he had been one of the few who sent his photograph. He is handsome with a big grin and a Kennedyesque shock of hair falling across his forehead. Arriving in person for the selection conference, he confirmed the impression given by his photograph. A well-known athlete while at Oxford, he is wiry and muscular and conveys a useful mixture of youthful enthusiasm and polite deference toward his elders. These physical and personality attributes were of considerable importance in a selection conference where a majority of the 90 members were middle-aged and elderly women. At least, that was the view of one man on the committee. Contrary to the stereotype of a candidate’s wife, Mrs. Archer has a doctorate in science and teaches chemistry but she is also quite pretty and managed to convince the Louth ladies that she would gladly grace their luncheons and charity bazaars.

Two circumstances might have altered the outcome. If Davies had made a brilliant speech to the selection conference, there were a few members who were open to persuasion and who would have made the difference. But Davies seems to have misjudged his rural gentry. Fearing to come across as too London-ish and high-powered, he made a diffident, low-keyed speech and had no impact. Alternatively, if Archer had made a poor speech, the anti-Davies votes might have shifted to Walder. But as it was, Archer and Walder both made good speeches, so this factor was cancelled out. The voting in a Conservative selection conference is a well-kept secret. Apparently, Davies and Archer were neck-and-neck on the first ballot with Walder far behind. On the second ballot, Archer won.

All three of the candidates were sophisticated Londoners, but this socially conservative, rural district wound up with the slickest and “trendiest” of them all. For each of them, a selection conference was no new experience. Archer had been short-listed in five other constituencies before winning in Louth. Davies and Walder had already vied against one another in two other constituencies. Walder once wrote a light novel about the whole process, entitled Short List. If he does not make it back into the House pretty soon, the phrase is likely to become a synonym for a nightmare. American primaries can be an ordeal, but the would-be M.P. trudging about Britain from one selection conference to another, introducing his firmly smiling wife (if he has one) to another committee of local ladies, briefing himself on local facts and peculiarities, and trying to make his 15-minute speech just the right combination or authority and charm is perhaps not a politician to be envied.

As with Mr. O’Halloran in North Islington, the selection of Jeffrey Archer in Louth had an awkward and unexpected sequel. Humphrey Berkeley, a Conservative ex-M.P., wrote a letter to the Conservative Central Office making certain allegations of misconduct against Archer and demanding that he be asked to stand aside. When Central Office took no action, Berkeley “leaked” the story to the Times, which front-paged it. Archer had worked for the United Nations Association of which Berkeley is chairman, and the two men had a personality clash. After Archer left, Berkeley insisted that he make restitution of about $200 in disputed expense account items and that he also write a letter repudiating the assertion that he (Berkeley) was a silent partner in Archer’s new public relations firm. The Times story proved a flash-in-the-pan, Archer sued Berkeley for slander and libel which under British law immediately put an end to press discussion of the charges. He also offered to resign his candidacy but the local Conservative leadership rejected his offer. In Lincolnshire, it seemed just another of those obscure London quarrels to which no man of sense would pay much attention.

After an uneventful campaign, Archer not only held Louth for his party but also surpassed the biggest majority Sir Cyril Osborne had ever achieved. The vote: Archer, 16,317; Bruce Briggs (Labour) 5,590; and John Adams (Liberal) 5,003.

Received in New York on December 18, 1969.

Mr. Shannon is an Alicia Patterson Fund award winner on leave from The New York Times. This article may be published with credit to Mr. Shannon, The New York Times, and the Alicia Patterson Fund.


© 1969 William Shannon