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Sir John Major was guest of honour at an Adam Smith Institute dinner at St Stephen’s Club in Westminster. Sir John has done a great deal of travelling since he left the Commons, and has seen the tremendous advances made by India and China, and by some Middle East countries. His remarks on the world’s probable future development and Britain’s place in it were thus extremely well-informed.

He stressed in particular the importance which the rapidly-developing countries are giving to education, and the urgency of ensuring that in the UK, too, education is accorded the importance it needs to secure Britain a place in the forefront of research, development, and economic expansion.

Sir John’s speech was a tour de force, showing complete mastery of his subject, and he contributed both eloquence and insight to the lively question and answer session that followed his remarks.