LORD R. CHURCHILL AND CENTRAL BIRMINGHAM.
[To THB EDITOR OP THE "SpEcTAToa."]
SID,—In a strong and trenchant article on "The Central Birmingham Quarrel," you give a very decided opinion that Lord R. Churchill is not the man for the constituency which returned John Bright, and adduce reasons to prove his total unworthiness of the post. May I very briefly, and in no carping spirit, contest the opinion and the proof ?
The noble Lord may, in the eyes of many, be all you say—
a weathercock, and virulent in his personalities—but there is no denying that he holds a unique position in this country, the position of a leader, of a man standing higher than his fellows in point of political ability and eloquence ; in force, too, strong with the strength of the working classes. Many Conservatives might have successfully contested Woodstock and South Pad- dington in the past, but where would have been Central Birmingham as a great Unionist and Conservative stronghold to-day but for Lord R. Churchill ? Of course John Bright made it Unionist ; but Sir James Sawyer and Mr. Rowlands, working with Lord Randolph, have made it Conservative. The power of the noble Lord over this great working-class con- stituency is manifest ; and as for his unfitness, for reasons you allege, to be Member, would not such a constituency be ballast and balance ? Who could represent such a division, under the circumstances under which Lord Randolph might represent it, without being raised to a high level of statesmanship and a due sense of responsibility ? The noble Lord is better than his reputation ; so even is Sir William Harcourt. Many men in the fierceness of political life pass through the shadow of the valley of temporary disrepute before they emerge into the perfect day of a character which cannot be assailed.-1 am, Sir, Scc., [It does not look as if Lord Randolph had made the con- stituency so Conservative as our correspondent thinks.—ED. Spectator.]