The Reuters Connections

The Reuters Connections
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We recommend to the student of political science, if there is such a science, a volume which has come to our attention, the autobiography of Sir Roderick Jones, entitled A Life in Reuters, Hodder and Stoughton, 1951. This book gives us much authoritative information on news distribution. Sir Roderick was Chief of Reuters News Agency for many years, assuming command of that agency when it was still at its historic address of 24 Old Jewry, London.

It is difficult to approach journalism without taking into account its companions of a trinity, propaganda and espionage, and we find in this book many instances of their relationship. On page 200, Sir Roderick relates a bit of history which will not be found in the universities. It describes a luncheon given by him for General Smuts, Sir Starr Jameson, and Dr. Walter Hines Page. He says:

“We dined in a private room at the Windham Club, the one in which twenty years later the terms of the abdication of King Edward VIII were settled. We drifted on to the question of the United States entering the war, for which Britain and France so patiently waited. Dr. Page then revealed to us, under seal of secrecy, that he had received from the President that afternoon a personal communication upon the strength of which he could affirm that, at last, the die was cast. Consequently it was not without emotion that he found himself able to assure us that the United States would be at war with the Central Powers inside a week from that date. The Ambassador’s assurance was correct to the day. We dined on Friday, March 30. On April 2, President Wilson asked Congress to declare a┬áState of War with Germany. On April 6, the United States was at war.”