RUTLAND AND THE COUNTY ELECTIONS.
[-To THE EDITOR OP THE " SPECTATOR."]
SIB,—Fully agreeing with your admirable article as to how the Tory counties are to be won, permit me to give the political history of East Cornwall during the past forty years. In 1841, its condition was almost as bad as Rutland; the two Tories were re- turned, and Mr. (now Sir John) Trelawny only polled between 1,600 and 1,700, whilst the Tories polled between 3,000 and 4,000. In 1852, another contest took place; Mr. (afterwards Lord) Robartes fought two Tories. I remember the great open-air meeting at Wadebridge, which was addressed by both sides from the same platform. I had procured and given to Mr. Robartes the re- turns from the Board of Trade of the quantity of corn imported from the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 up to 1852, and the amount was 50,000,000 quarters. This fact Mr. Robartes made use of in his speech, whereat the Tories were delighted, and told the farmers that " was the cause of the low price of corn," and asked the Liberals how they could expect the farmers' votes. Mr. Robartes replied, pointing to the group of squires on the other side, " You, gentlemen, have never eaten a loaf the more in consequence of this enormous importation, but who has -eaten it ? Why, those who had not sufficient, before the odious Corn Laws were abolished." Then he quoted the verse, " Whoso bath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need," &c. The vast audience uncovered during the quotation, and at its conclusion an enthusiastic cheer arose. The contest was never doubtful from that hour, and Mr. Robartes headed the poll by G21.
Having won one seat, the Liberals believed they could win both, but could not find a candidate until 1868, when Mr. Brydges Willyams consented to come forward, in conjunction with Sir John Trelawny, and announced himself to the con- stituency thus :—" My political opinions, early formed, and strengthened by experience, are strongly in favour of civil, religious, and commercial freedom, and I will give an unfalter- ing support to Mr. Gladstone, so long as he continues to lead the Liberal party in the cause of peace, retrenchment, and reform." The result was that the Tory candidate retired before the day of election, and the Liberals had a walk-over, and won both seats. Come down, again, to 1880, when Mr. Borlase, a stranger, was induced to come forward, in conjunction with the Hon. Charles Robartes. Their addresses and speeches appealed to " Liberalism as the better creed," and their tone was elevated. The Tories talked about " local burdens," but the electors con- sidered that two Tory Members would be the greatest " local burden " they could have, and elected the two Liberals by a majority of 900. "The tenantry are as capable of compre- hending the Liberal creed, if only it were brought home to them, as any other class in the community." Let it be the duty of Liberals, then, by the formation of local clubs, affiliat- ing them with the National Liberal Federation, the National Reform Union, and the National Liberal Club, thus securing -their political literature and lecturers, to win the Tory counties.
—I am, Sir, &c., W. H. NORTHY. Rockland, Newquay, September 10th.