Muddling Britons last week managed a neat insult to their ally Soviet Russia. On his way to Washington, Russia's newly appointed Ambassador Maxim Litvinoff flew into Teheran, tried to fly on to Cairo in a British Overseas Airways plane. But chubby Ambassador Litvinoff was stopped at the steps to the plane with the information: "All seats already have been taken."

Ambassador Litvinoff's genial old billikin face turned purple. His snowy-haired English wife, Ivy Litvinoff, confusedly asked: "Are we going, papa?" As the plane loaded with Britons took off without the Litvinoffs, it was apparent that a first-class diplomatic incident had occurred.


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