The thought once there was bound to recur. For the moment it was masked by the absorbing excitement of planning a greatly expanded observer, designed to counter the aggressive plans of the Sunday Times. That right hand was never more needed. There had long been a crisis in the coalfields. It came to a head after Garvin had gone to Aix les Bains. The owners insisted on a reduction in already low wages. The bait was tantalising. One must guess, was half hooked. A month later, however, another attractive prospect appeared. The new American owners of the Encyclopaedia Britannica had asked Garvin to become editor in chief of the fourteenth edition due to be published in 1929. The search for a successor began at once. Garvin's favoured candidates were either unobtainable or unacceptable. Peter Fleming preferred The Times Gerald Barry, editor of the Spectator, did not want to move Francis.