18 FEBRUARY 1949, Page 20


Snt,—Labour's good fortune in by-elections is still being maintained, says Janus. The facts do not bear him out. At Sowerby, South Ham- mersmith and North St. Pancras, Labour is defending seats won in 1945. The first two of these seats had been held previously by Labour only in 1929-31, when the respective majorities were 2,166 and 412. There has always been a strong Liberal poll at Sowerby, and Mr. Belcher's absolute majority in 1945 was no more than 560 votes. The St. Pancras seat was won for Labour in 1929 by 3,115 votes and had been previously held in 1924. These, then, are the marginal seats. If the Conservative Party is expecting to win only one of them in the by-elections, there can be no justification for the claim that if a General Election were held now the

Conservatives would win easily.—Yours faithfully, S. R. GAYTON. 14 Nicosia Road, S.W.r8.