12 MAY 1923, Page 3

Mr. J. J. Walsh, the Irish Free State Postmaster- General,

seems to be determined to cut off possible sources of prosperity for his country. Three large British tobacco manufacturers are seeking sites in and about Dublin for setting up branch factories. The reason, of course, is that by manufacturing in Ireland they would escape the Free State Customs. No sooner was their, intention known, however, than certain Irish tobacco manufacturers complained, as they had supposed that they would enjoy what the Dublin correspondent of the Morning Post calls " a substantial measure of Protection." Mr. Walsh, in answer to their protests, sympathetically declared that Irishmen would simply be changing " one state of slavery for another " if having removed the foreigner politically they were to let him in again " to grab the fruits of our political victory." He went on to denounce those public bodies in the Free State which, in his opinion, were " cringing to foreigners " —meaning, of course, Englishmen—and begging them to step in and enjoy the results of Ireland's sacrifices. It is said that Mr. Walsh's opinions are only his own and that he was speaking perhaps as a rat that thought of leaving the sinking ship. Anyhow, it is to be hoped that the Free State Government as a whole does not share his economic madness.