11 JANUARY 1908, Page 17


[To THE EDITOR OF THE -srEciarog.”]

SIR,—I am one of that large body of voters, the men of moderate opinions, who hold in equal abhorrence the selfish- ness of the old Toryism and the selfishness of modern Radicalism. At the last Election there was no course open for such as me but to support the Liberal candidate, which I did as the only escape from Protection. Like yourself, I bad the good hope that, in the peculiar circumstances of the Election, the successful Liberal Government would abstain from excess of Radical legislation, or at least would avoid such extreme of predatory Socialism as is exhibited in the Scottish Lands Valuation Bill. Events have not brought fulfilment of that hope, and there would now seem to be no choice for the -next Election but to give support either to a policy of predatory Socialism—the pillaging of the rich for the supposed benefit of the poor—or to a policy of Protectionism— the pillaging of the poor for the supposed benefit of the rich. That Protection would not ultimately benefit the rich any more than Socialism would ultimately benefit the poor does not affect the issue. The contending parties are blind to such facts. They are apparently bent each upon pillaging the other, and the " Hobson's choice" of lending support either to the pillage of the rich by the poor or of the poor by the rich is all the choice there is just now. For my part, having weighed and considered the situation to the best of my ability, the conclusion that forces itself upon me is that, if choose I must between these two extremely distasteful alternatives, the former must be my choice; the pillage of the rich is bad certainly, but at least it is not so shabby a game as the pillage of the poor. Before the day of final choice arrives, however, I fervently hope that something may be effected towards linking up the men of moderate views of all parties, Unionist, Liberal, and Conservative, into a strong independent party capable of offering effectual resistance to the policies of pillage now favoured by the two great official parties.—