18 JULY 1931, Page 15


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR, —The Voice of Prejudice reaches its consummation in the letter from the Rector of Devizes. Indeed, the letter is an excellent example of the strange state of mental delusion into which apparently normal individuals can pass as the result of a calling proverbially divorced from all reality.

The Rector by his first sentence assumes himself to be an accomplished student of history. He now sums up his historical researches by the amazing statement that " all history testifies to the undoubted fact that war as a pruning hook lops all the wild or luxuriant growth. of wanton nations and spares the more vigorous." Such a statement is so entirely free from the truth and so damnable a fallacy that one must assume one of two things : Either that in making such a statement the Rector " only does it to annoy because he knows it teases," or that he really believes and thanks his God—Mars—that the wild or luxuriant growth of wantons that the Cenotaph commemorates, this nation is well rid of and that the more vigorous, such as the Rector of Devizes, has been spared.

The rest of his letter is merely an attempt by " quoting Scripture to his purpose " to support this absurd thesis and cannot be regarded otherwise than the mumblings of senility from the security of the Rectory garden.—I am, Sir, &c.,