End of a British newspaper era


Not content with the relatively undemanding task of massacring supposed opponents of socialism conveniently available in the USSR, Stalin turned his attention to White Russian emigrĂ©s. One of their leaders in Paris General Yevgeny Miller was lured into an ambush by NKVD agents on the pretext of meeting agents of the German Abwehr. He was drugged and smuggled to the USSR in a steamer trunk. He was tortured an eventually shot summarily in 1939. In the meanwhile the routine elimination of anyone who caught the eye of the competent authorities continued with the judicial murders of a clutch of officials in Karelia for an imaginary plot and of one Admiral Ivanoff for “demoralizing” sailors by unspecified methods.

The Far Eastern Committee of the League of Nations registered a formal protest against Japanese aggression in China notably the bombing of Nanking. It was ignored. Air raids continued undiminished and a fleet of junks was attacked by submarine with many casualties. British worthies including J. M. Keynes began to mutter about instituting an economic boycott of Japan, equally fruitlessly.


An epoch of newspaper history in Britain came to an end with the disappearance of The Morning Post supposedly merged into the Daily Telegraph but in reality closed with some staff including a young Bill Deedes transferred. Founded in 1772 The Morning Post had barely changed in appearance since then. Its readership was to put it mildly extremely conservative and was dying off rapidly. It had gained some notoriety in the 1920s by publicizing the anti-semitic forgery The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion as an authentic text.

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