"Like a garden," sighed Presidential Assistant John Steelman, sniffing at the 144 dark red roses. Over the roses, hands across the sea stretched and missed, and fumbling, missed again. Somebody had a perfectly sound idea that British and U.S. leaders should get to know each other better; but, like a lot of other good ideas, this one failed to bloom.

Some Pastry. Most of the 28 guests assembled among the roses in the Federal Trade Commission's private dining room in Washington had no idea why they were there. The chocolate-covered cupcakes on the...

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