19 MAY 1923, Page 14

HOME RULE MEANS ROME RULE. [To the Editor of the

Smarm-on.] Sin,—In the past I have often been told by Protestants who, like myself, fear the influence and methods of the Roman Catholic Church, that " Home Rule means Rome Rule.', Without possibly being able to give an answer for my own faith, I had adopted that of my father, the late W. P. Turnbull, viz., a whole-hearted advocacy of Home Rule for Ireland. Whenever the above fears were mentioned to him, he always made the same answer : " The chief bulwark of the Irishman against an oppressing foreign government is the priest ; when Ireland has a government of its own, this influence will be replaced by what we have in England— public opinion. The power of the priest and the R.C. Church will be lessened, not increased by Home Rule."

It is very striking to me how completely the above prediction has been fulfilled, as reported by your correspondent " An Observer." My father died in 1917. Until the Spectator took such a strong line against Home Rule he was, I under- stand, a keen supporter of the paper.—I am, Sir, &c.,


The Vicarage, White Ladies Aston, Worcester.