GREAT BRITAIN: Bathos at Westminster

Britons steeled themselves to hear news grimmer than any since Winston Churchill had offered them "blood, sweat and tears" after Dunkirk. At last Clement Attlee was to tell Britons what they had to do to save themselves from bankruptcy.

There was a great-event atmosphere around the neo-Gothic Palace of Westminster. Londoners and provincial visitors gathered with tense faces around Parliament Square. Britons, to whom queueing has become second nature, waited in a long line for the few public seats available in the House of Commons' gallery.

Inside, members and lucky strangers sat through...

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