CEYLON: Too Late

"I often twiddle the short wave about," explained Alan Blackman, 36, a fishworker of Hull, England. Listening in at 7:10 one night last week, Blackman heard: "Urgent! Will BBC contact Sir Hugh Cairns at Oxford 58136, ask him to telephone Dr. Pierres, Colombo (Ceylon) 9351? It concerns life or death of our Prime Minister!"

The message was repeated at 90-second intervals. Many other British hams heard it and, like Blackman, notified BBC. One listener sent a cable from Sierra Leone, West Africa.

When the BBC reached Sir Hugh—Oxford's famed Nuffield Professor of Surgery*—he tried at once to phone Colombo. Then began a...

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