In This Review

Stitches in Time: The Commonwealth in World Politics
Stitches in Time: The Commonwealth in World Politics
By Arnold Smith with Clyde Sanger
Beaufort Books, 1983, 322 pp

This is the story of the almost haphazard creation of a Commonwealth Secretariat in 1964-1965 designed to facilitate all manner of cooperation. Britain was lukewarm about such an organization which, it was feared, could encroach on Britain's projected informal role. Smith, the first secretary-general, a long-time Canadian diplomat and friend of Lester Pearson, records his ten-year impressions and activities, concentrating on such crises as Ian Smith (Rhodesia), South Africa, and Idi Amin. An absorbing account, in which the role of the organization is not minimized, and in which the interests of the various members become clear. While he is pro-British at heart, Smith does not overlook London's jealous attention to his activities, including the likely bugging of his telephone.