15 JUNE 1929, Page 17

Letters to the Editor


SIR,—I have been reading your article, " Lessons of the Election," and I confess that I am slightly puzzled.

Are we-to assume that the Spectator has definitely turned Socialist ? And if not, what are we to make of this sentence : " The Spectator will support the Government of the day so long as it can do so in accordance with the dictates of its conscience " ?

The " dovernment of the day " is a Socialist Government ; its policy is set out in a pamphlet called Labour and the Nation to be bought at any bookshop or bookstall. It is true that we are not hearing much at the moment of the schemes and visions embodied in Labour and the Nation ; but that—I do not see how anyone can question it—is simply because the Socialist Government has not yet dug itself in. To change the metaphor, its first business must be to sing anti-Socialists to sleep. Is the Spectator proposing to join in the lullaby, or does the Spectator believe that Labour and the Nation is a joke, or—to come back to the first alternative—has the Spectator adopted the policy set forth in Labour and the Nation ?

I meant to pass over without a word your chivalrous comments on the fall of Mr. Baldwin. But I cannot, foolish as it is, suppress my astonishment at your placid assumption that the man who is beaten is necessarily wrong, or diminished in stature by his defeat.—I am, Sir, &e.,

[It has been the tradition of the Spectator since the days of Rintoul to ignore party labels in giving its support to what it considers precious and worthy causes. This proud tradition was, as it happens, acclaimed by Mr. Baldwin himself on the occasion of the Centenary Dinner last October. While the Unionist Government had its opportunity we naturally did • our best to make possible through its agency the fruition of our aspirations. But we have never refrained from criticizing that Government. Our attitude is precisely the same towards the new Government, even though it bear the Socialist label. And we would remind our correspondent that the Times, not being tied to any party, pursues—or did in 1924—an identical policy of supporting the established Government so long as it does nothing which is harmful to law and order.—En. -Spectator.]