13 JANUARY 1906, Page 13


SIR,—As a Unionist Free-trader, I read with especial interest your article on " The Duke of Devonshire and Unionist Free- Traders" in last week's issue, and it seems to me that the only fault to be found with your advice is that it hardly goes far enough. Mr. Chamberlain has chosen to launch an agita- tion against the freedom and prosperity of this country which rests on wild assertions, misrepresentation of his opponents, and absurd promises of increased wages and employment. Mr. Balfour speaks occasionally and obscurely as less or more of a Free-trader, and acts consistently in the interests of Mr. Chamberlain. Why has he done nothing to support Lord Hugh Cecil, the official candidate of his party, and one of the men who can least be spared from the House of Commons P There is not at present, and will not be during the coming Parliament, any legislative policy of Home-rule for Ireland. The land defences of the country are probably safer in the hands of Mr. Haldane than in those of his predecessors. Continuity of foreign policy has been vouched 'for. On the other hand, the maintenance of our system of Free-trade is the question at the coming Election ; and no more fatal blunder could be made than to identify Unionists as a party with a policy of Protection, under whatever name it may be disguised. By votes, and not by argument, will this momentous issue be decided; and I venture to suggest that, in the absence of very exceptional circumstances, it has become the duty of every Free-trader to vote for the Free-trade candidate.—I am,