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Alexander Chancellor's connections

I will always remember an act of kindness by Alexander Chancellor, the Reuters bureau chief in Rome in the last months of my three-year posting there in the late Sixties. On my departure for a new assignment in Hong Kong, a switch from Vatican to China watching, he gave me a letter of introduction to an old friend from Eton and Cambridge who, he said, I could rely on for help if I ever needed it. The friend turned out to be a director of Jardines, the powerful Hong Kong trading house, whose family later bought The Spectator and appointed Alexander as editor. ■