SIR GEORGE HUNTER'S LETTER [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sin,—A most striking document it is, the letter addressed by Sir George B. Hunter to the Prime Minister. It is its tone which gives it the arresting quality. " What is wrong ? Is it Capitalisin ? Is it Trade Unionism ? " he asks. The blame attaches to neither, independently. The industrial dis- quietude is due to a state of irritability on the part of both Capital and Labour. The situation might be likened to the wrangling among the members of a family which is missing its accustomed affluence.
It all comes down to this : England has been vitally hit by the long continuance of the War. It was a war of exhaustion conducted with the avowed aim of dealing a knock- out blow to the enemy, with the result that the War was won militarily, and lost economically. Need I particularize ? Having regard to actual conditions, England lost Germany as a customer—did she not ? She lost Russia—did she not ? She lost Austria-Hungary—did she not ? To these must be added the new-fangled States of " Self-determination "—an injection into the European system sufficient in itself to upset the economic equilibrium. But, more than all, England lost most of her liquid capital, and the controlling grip upon things international.
Now, having lost the elements of her high economic position, it stands to reason that England cannot carry on as if nothing had happened. Then how ? There is only one logical course for England to follow—to resume contact with the beginnings. Back to the soil—there is the principal remedy. And the path to it lies through a ruralization of women. The stages of transition would be found hard indeed, but the fol- lowing through should not prove insuperable. The key to England's recuperation lies in the hands of her women. Woman's sphere is Nature. There she feels happiest, and is at her best. Is there a more congenial occupation for women than gardening, for instance ?
If women only knew, and men only dared !—I am, Sir, &c., GABRIEL WELLS.